There is a word often used in the Bible when people interact with Jesus: astonished. Astonished is a word we are all familiar with, yet if you are like me, it is a word we don’t often use to describe how we feel. Have you been astonished today? This week? This year?

Undoubtedly some of us have, and likely many of us haven’t. Have you been astonished by Jesus? Have you been astonished by people who follow Jesus? Because astonished is what people often were when they came in contact with Jesus.

I remember being astonished when I came to Summit for the first time. That day, seven years ago, I heard the story of a group of people forming a community that follows Jesus in serving others. I saw a group of people willing to give of their time and talents to those in need. They gave the best of themselves to those in the community who were hurting, alone, afraid, and in need of someone to see them and care for them. They served others so that the church could be as good for those outside the four walls of Summit as it is for those inside the four walls. Summit became my home because Jesus’s invitation to serve the most vulnerable wasn’t just something that made it onto a tag line, but was lived out as core to who we are. And today, we continue to be a community of faith that often introduce ourselves to others through saying in word and deed, “How can I help you?”

I was astonished when I first came to Summit and saw people living out the call to love God and love others. And I am astonished as I continue to see it. I am astonished when I see someone say “Yes” to the invitation to use their gifts and talents at Summit to serve others in Base Camp, or with First Impressions, or on the Tech team because they want to be part of communicating to anyone who walks through the doors that they are loved by God and the people who follow Him.

I am astonished when we throw the doors of the church open and flood out to care for others. I am astonished when 1,500 people across four Summit campuses give of their time to serve with organizations doing Christ-honoring work in our neighborhoods every time we do niceSERVE. I am astonished every time someone gets on a plane and flies halfway around the world to sit in a village in Africa with a family who doesn’t speak their language but does matter deeply to God, and they want to show it.

I am astonished when those acts of service actually lead to transformed lives—people trusting Jesus with everything that comes next. It’s not so much that I am surprised that God still works, but I am amazed He works again and again through our steps of faith—taking our best and doing so much more than we can imagine possible with it.

So, let’s be people who continue to be astonished by Jesus. And let’s be people astonished by what God can do in and through us as we serve others.

 

 

Garry Abbott is the Herndon Campus Pastor. If you'd like to get in touch with him, he'd love to hear from you at gabbott@summitconnect.org.