For three years my family was blessed to serve the Norway Avenue Church in Huntington West Virginia. The church building overlooked the town and was directly across the street from the cemetery where the victims of the 1970 Marshall University Football team plane crash were buried. I am reminded of so many wonderful people tonight as we once again watched the movie "We Are Marshall".
The movie depicts the impact and devastation an entire community suffered as result of that plane crash. Seventy five people lost their life and thousands more were impacted. The story of recovery and new life is amazing. The community as a whole rallied around the University and forever entwined the two as one.
The imagery of what church should be is wrapped in and through the story. There is pain and triumph. There is loss and gain. There is love and hurt. There is destruction and rebuilding. There are ashes and there is hope. There is past and there is future. There is yesterday and there is today. In the midst of destruction there were those who would not give up on what could be.
The church should be filled with those who won't give up on what could be as well as filled with those who are seeking what could be. It is one group living as Christ to introduce Christ to those who are desperate for Christ. Those whose lives have been decimated to ashes receiving faith, hope and love from those whose lives have risen from the ashes by the power of God.
There is so much to the real life story of "We Are Marshall". Far too much to cover here. Let me invite you to experience it for yourself. But more than that, let me invite you to experience church as it should be. People helping people rise from the ashes of the past to live in the glorious now of Christ's Kingdom!