More Than We Can Imagine

Fred Harrell

On Easter morning a few days ago I emailed a handful of people and asked them for their prayers. They were all people who dreamed about a church in San Francisco 15 years ago in my living room apartment. We talked about what it would look like to see a church thrive and make a visible difference in the life of the City. While none of us imagined specifically about worshipping in Davies Symphony Hall, we did take seriously a particular place in the book of Ephesians from chapter 3, verses 20 and 21. Here's how it reads:


"Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen."


We believed God could and would do more than we can imagine. And He did. We didn't imagine what we witnessed on Sunday. I've been to the symphony many times, but never imagined I would preach where Michael Tilson Thomas conducts. I've had a lot of balcony tickets over the years, but I've never looked down on the crowd and imagined 2000 people passing the peace, or streaming forward for communion. Further, I never imagined 250 people deciding together to stand in solidarity with the poor and embark on a fast that we would break together on Maundy Thursday. I continue to hear stories of new perspective, new commitments, and new life patterns of living simply, giving generously, and buying ethically.  Each service of Holy Week was a new record in attendance as the church availed itself of the opportunity to journey with Jesus. As we celebrated the resurrection at the Easter Vigil on Saturday, I will not forget the privilege of walking the candle down the aisle and lighting the Paschal Candle while the auditorium began to light up with more candles with the City Church Choir leading us so beautifully in worship. Friends we have so much to be thankful for as a community in our journey with Jesus through Holy Week.


But now we move on from that week and continue our journey. I think the question I've been pondering since Sunday is "What else will God do that we can't imagine?" I'm looking forward to finding out. Our calling is to continue the story, continue to step out in faith, continue to expand our reach, continue to listen to the Spirit's leading, prompting, and guiding.


I pinched myself about a dozen times on Sunday. Was this really happening? It was, and God will do more as we continue to follow Him in mission to a city that is beautiful and broken. He will do more than we can imagine, this we know.


images by Ryan Hughes

image by Ryan Hughes

image by Ryan Hughes

image by Ryan Hughes

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April 13, 2012 7:02 PM
Awesome pictures Mr. Hughes!