The Harvest is Here
Jon was talking in a sermon recently about SEEING people the way JESUS saw people. Sometimes that takes MORE than sight; that takes insight... that takes vision.
I was out on the Richmond Road Campus the other day, and I was standing in the parking lot praying, and I thought of that passage where Jesus said, "Don't say there are several months before the harvest; open your EYES; the harvest is already here."
So I opened my eyes and looked around, not at a new BUILDING, but at the communities all AROUND that building. Here's what I saw:
A rapidly growing Hispanic community, just a few streets away, from the edge of our parking lot.
A large African American Community, just across New Circle Road to the East.
White collar and young urban professional communities just across the lake to the South, and just down Main Street to the West.
I saw the growing Kentucky Refugee community in the apartments across the street... and hundreds of UK college students in the apartments off Lakeshore drive.
I saw Henry Clay High School and Breckinridge Elementary, both less than a mile away. My mind went to students, children, mentoring, tutoring, after-school programs, basketball leagues, and backpack ministries.
I saw the Pennington Place Apartments, a quarter mile away; that will soon be the site of major renovation resulting in 342 new apartments-only 18 months from now.
Everywhere I looked, North, South, East and West, all I could see were people! I thought to myself: "Only GOD could do this!" Only God could drop a 200,000 square foot Church building right in the middle of one of the most densely populated and wonderfully diverse areas in Lexington!
And only God would drop in on top of an old dilapidated Mall, full of graffiti and debris, and rats, and a lot of other things I won't even mention.
Only God would say, "I'm gonna raise up beauty from ashes right here! Only God would say, "I'm gonna make streams in the desert, right here! Only the One who "makes all things new" would say, "I'm gonna establish my Kingdom right here and I'm gonna equip these people to make a difference."
So I stood there looking around and I wept. I wept for the people who'll be in heaven some day because of our 3rd campus. I wept for the families that will be restored; the children who will be loved; the poor who will be given dignity and the 1000's who'll be snatched from the very clutches of hell.
I stood there, tears streaming down my face, and I said, "God, let your Son be exalted. Let your Kingdom advance; let the Cross be lifted high, and let Southland Richmond Road be a lighthouse for generations to come." And I prayed it all, "in Jesus name Amen."
I know you'll join me in that prayer! And many of you, about eleven hundred in fact, have signed up to attend. We're praying for 400 more folks to go to the Southland website and do the same! Please join us in that prayer!