Last night I was able to attend the dedication of the new church-house of Christ the Word, and what a privilege it was!
After walking around the building singing, the children entered the sanctuary and went up onto the platform holding Bibles aloft as we sang praises to the Lord. After a minute of chaos as all the kids went down to find their parents, the service continued with a sermon by Pastor Dave (Max) Curell. Two men from outside the church were honored for their work: Mike Vrlenich who directed Christ the Word's capital campaign before moving to Naperville two years ago; and Mike Boles who served Christ the Word pro bono as general contractor. Christ the Word elder, Ben James Sr., led us in the prayer of dedication.
May God bless Christ the Word precisely as Ben James asked here in his prayer:
Our Father and our God,
"There is no God like You in heaven above or on the earth below, keeping promises and showing lovingkindness to us your children"... Only by Your lovingkindness, do we today dedicate this building to You. It is all about You and what You have done and not about us. It is our privilege to serve You and to call You our Father, and to call Your Son our Savior, our Redeemer. In our humanity and its limitations, we cannot fully explain, or comprehend or appreciate what Your Son has done on our behalf, both now and for eternity. But we do thank You, our Father, for freeing us from our bondage to sin.
Lord, we dedicate this facility to the preaching and the teaching of Your Word; the inerrant, authoritative, eternal, standard of Truth and Wisdom. May future preachers and future generations worshipping here, never stray from the gospel message of your eternal Word. Thank you for this inspired record of our Savior's great sacrifice and the salvation plan for our lost souls found through Christ alone.
Father we dedicate this building to your Holy Spirit and seek His presence in our midst. May our worship of You always be in Spirit and in Truth, for we know that if your Spirit is not among us, then our worship is in vain. You have promised that where two or three have gathered in your name, there you will be in their midst. May your Spirit so fill this building, now and in years to come, that your hedge of protection will give us victory over Satan's attacks.
Our God, we dedicate this building to the development of mature Christian leaders. May these committed leaders proclaim your Word and your Truth from pulpits to the lost; from their homes to their family; from their church to their brothers and sisters in Christ; from their place of employment to their unbelieving fellow workers.
Lord, we dedicate this building to the generations that will follow us. May they always treasure you and your Word. May this body never take you for granted or push your word aside for what they think are better methods that increase their numbers or the material wealth of this body. May they never forget that "the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart."
Father, God, we dedicate this building as a beacon; as a "Light on a hill." May the proclamation of your Word and the maturity of our believers be a magnet that attracts the churches of our area to You. May they exchange their failing, worn out marketing techniques, their spiritual shallowness, their dying churches; may they exchange this apostasy for a living, vibrant, mature body of believers that has a passion for studying and hearing the Word of God: that follow its precepts and commandments: and that lifts your Name on high.
Lord, we dedicate this building to the exercising of discipline within the church. Father, You call us to follow your precepts and commandments not only for our own good, but also for the purity of the church because this brings honor, not ridicule to your Name. May our leaders now and in generations to come, have the courage and love to discipline those in the body who violate your standards or righteousness and obedience.
Father, may we always heed your statutes and commandments and worship only You within these walls. May we never become a proverb and a byword among all peoples. May we never become a heap of ruins where everyone who passes by is astonished and hisses and says, "Why has the Lord done this to this land and to this house?" May this never be so of Christ the Word Church.
We lift your Name on high precious Lord.