Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Archangel

Last week, I preached about how we can see our lives and our circumstances with God's vision. I used Jorge's life as an example. Even after meeting Christ, he still lived in suicidal depression until he saw himself as God sees him; completely forgiven and free to live abundantly. Enzo is a very different example of the same concept. Having been a Christian since his youth, he saw his life through the lens of Psalm 22:6 "I am a worm and not a man." He is a man of excellence in everything, but only perfection will do with the things of God. Whether rewiring the sanctuary or buying snacks for an event, he provided the best of the best. However, he knew, and would often tell us, that his humanly standard of perfection was not enough. His work, efforts, performance was merely the best he could do, acceptable only by the grace of a loving God. His self-deprecating language was always confusing to those around him. We could see him with God's eyes: a natural leader, everyone's favorite father-figure, godly, loving, talented, but he would never allow anyone to speak of him as such. We even used flattering nicknames to annoy him. I believe the progression was disciple, pastor, apostle, prophet, angel, archangel. From there we couldn't think of anything higher, so we stuck with archangel.

Over the course of the past year and a half he's been attending the church, Enzo's began seeing himself in a different way. He's realized that even the lowliest servant of God is still an instrument to be used by God's hand. After a lifetime of attending church, he's now leading ministries for the first time. He serves in many behind the scenes roles in events and church maintenance, but he also leads worship in the Sunday evening service. A few weeks ago, he preached an actual sermon at a men's event, teaching others what God has been developing in him his whole life-how to be a man of God. Without losing an ounce of his humility, he is also seeing his purpose as a leader of others in seeking more of God. He is a beautiful reminder that even the wisest among us are still growing in Christ.

At the close of the sermon (before the hamburgers) Enzo and his son, Cristian, shared a special song, Hillsong's "Even When it Hurts." They had been practicing it for weeks because Cristian just recently began learning to play the piano and the song features the piano melody. It turned out to be perfect timing for the performance. Only two days before the event, Enzo's oldest child, Sol, was mugged on her way to work. She had been planning to go from work straight to her university classes, so she lost a lot in the robbery: phone, kindle, glasses, wallet, books, and handwritten notes for her thesis. The loss was hard on the whole family, realizing that the sinking economy and rise in crime in Córdoba now meant that their 24 year old daughter couldn't even walk by herself the four blocks from home to the bus stop at 7:00 in the morning. Still they were able to say, even when it hurts, I will praise You. And serve You. And give You my very best. 

The men's event was preceded by a woman's event complete with makeovers and nail painting. Both events had several first time attenders, friends and siblings of our church members. 

Last Sunday, the kids presented a special song in the afternoon service. It was fun for me to have to ask "Who is the kid next to Hadassa??" His name is Baptist and he and his mom Agostina began attending church last month.