Many residents of El Paso will mark down Sunday, April 17, 2013 as a historic day in the life of their fair city. With all the fanfare of a circus coming to town and the contrasting mourning of a grieving family the people of El Paso will witness the implosion of City Hall to make way for a new professional baseball stadium.
It just so happens that just about the time Jim Cleaveland our minister of music strikes up our praise band for praise and worship the ground beneath our feet will tremble and City Hall will crumbles to a pile of rubble. If the city council had only asked Jim could have had our praise team march around City Hall seven times and bring it down with the sounds of electric guitar, drums and the shouts of the praise team just like the walls of Jericho.
If I could time my message perfectly to the blast, can you imagine how powerful an impact my preaching would have if I shouted, “God is trying to get your attention…do you feel it?” Then just as my words settled over the crowd a resounding blast exploded in the distance and the ground beneath our feet rumbled?
Needless to say, Sunday will be an exciting time to be downtown. Hundreds and probably thousands of people will make their way into the heart of our city to see the spectacle. The Interstate will become a parking lot, and vantage points for the historic blast will be prime spots.
For instance the Doubletree Hotel just blocks from City Hall will be offering a getaway weekend package that includes dinner and breakfast with a breathtaking view of the demotion. Their marketing team entitled the weekend festivities “Dreams to Reality” package.
Of course their dreams make up the nightmares of those who fought tooth and nail to save City Hall. Sal Gomez, leader of the Coalition for Responsive Government, told the El Paso Times: “I consider it a funeral. I feel like I have to say some parting words and bid farewell.”
Whether you embrace it or fight it change will be in the air Sunday just as thick as the cloud of dust that will blow over our city.
In many ways, the demotion of City Hall stands out as a vivid parable about life. There are times when remodeling and renovation just will not do. In fact, life often demands paradigm shifts of seismic proportions. The old must give way to the new.
Jesus confronted the traditionalists of his day who could not embrace the fresh winds of the Spirit blowing by saying:
“No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” ( Matthew 9:16-17 NIV)
Old wineskins get hard and brittle with age. New wineskins stay soft and pliable ready to swell and change. Hard brittle hearts shatter while pliable hearts expand. How is your heart? Are you ready to grow and change? I hope God does not have to use dynamite to get us ready to change!