“Don’t forget to do good and to share what you have because God is pleased with these kinds of sacrifices.” (Hebrews 13:16, CEB)
I had the good opportunity very recently of chatting over a cup of coffee with our Executive Director of the Milan Main Street organization, Jill Tewsley. It wasn’t long into our conversation when the topic of 3rd Thursdays came up. Now I obviously could not see my own face, but I could see Jill’s, and there was an instant radiance of excitement on hers when we came upon this topic … and I am guessing that she saw the same in mine.
3rd Thursdays was a special day each month between May and October, when our downtown pulled out all the stops, stores and eateries remained open longer, lots of vendors put up their canopies in Tolan Square, and the east end of Main Street became “Kid’s Zone.” And while it sounded like a really good idea when we kicked it off this past spring, we never imagined it being so successful.
But even more, was the powerful experience that took place right here on the front lawn of our church. As high as I set my expectations, they did not even come close to the energy, creativity, contribution, and enthusiasm that I witnessed in the leadership and involvement of our church members in the event. The first month was a success by every measure. But amazingly, the next month was even better. And wouldn’t you know, every month thereafter got even better still. Jill was almost giddy upon her reflection of how everything went.
But the best part for me is how this became much more than just a successful Main Street event, for it demonstrated living ministry in action. And not just around the things we specifically facilitated, but in the ambiance that caught on with all the participants who donated time and energy in the “Kid’s Zone.” Now admittedly, I expect that our partners on our end of the street may not have described it quite the same way, but there is no mistaking the loving presence of Christ that I believe played a huge part in the smiles and giggles of all the children and families around all the games and activities and freebies over these past few months. Now that I think about it, I guess that I may be a little giddy too.
So, thank you all who had any part, on any of the 3rd Thursdays, for your contributions toward manifesting the presence of Christ on this east end of Main Street. Thank you for putting your love of Christ into visible action. Thank you for tangibly demonstrating how Marble is a vital part of this Milan Community. Thank you for being you! To be honest, I cannot wait until we do it again next year!
Until then…peace and blessings to you always … Pastor Bob