When July rolls around you can watch fireworks in your backyard or from across the street. If you want to see the big explosions in Columbus on the Fourth, you gather with thousands to see the professionals light up the night alongside the Chattahoochee River. Known as Thunder on the Hooch, it has been sponsored by WTVM for thirteen years now.
Our family opts for the (safest) loudest, brightest, and highest, so we headed downtown on Monday for the show. I quickly glanced at the Ledger-Enquirer for any details and read, "At dark, fireworks will light the skies over the river." After we parked, we ran into Mike, Julie, Merritt, Mason and Dot. Mike said we simply needed to find an angle to see the Dillingham Street Bridge, because that is from where they always shoot them.
Imagine our surprise when the sound of the first firework exploded but no lights could be seen. It seems the Thunder on the Hooch was just that - all sound and no sights. After years of shooting the rockets from literally the middle of the river, this year the launch-site had moved inland. I learned the next day that they were launched from Golden Park. Thousands of us gathered on the river could not see the very thing we had gathered to watch. Instead, we ran up the hill and were still only able to see only those shot highest in the air, while missing many of them. Our boys loved it, but I had to ask "What happened to an event on the river."
The lesson literally bursts off the page. Communication is key! When we don't communicate well, people miss out. We can have the best of intentions. We can even attract a crowd. However, people get left out when we fail to communicate the details. Feelings can be hurt, anxiety can rise, momentum can be lost, and the future is less solid when good communication takes a back seat.
This has been true of the church on occasion. But, I look on with pride and joy when I see us get it right. We have something to show that the world would stop to see. We offer the greatest and brightest displays history has ever seen - lives changed forever by the love and grace of God. May we stay ever committed to the responsibility we have to communicate the details of where it is happening and why. The ministries of our church exist for this mission: to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Grace and Peace, Scott