I just came in from my morning walk.
My devotions led me to this.
I want to rerun this one. It strikes me as more true now than when I wrote it four years ago…
Ok, I might need to explain a little. In the Cauca Valley in Colombia South America there is a town called Buga. The population is about 100,000. It is a thriving city with a shrine that attracts about 3,000,000 people every year. But this is not about Buga.
A few miles from Buga there is a village. It was once also known as Buga. Soon enough it was overshadowed by its larger neighbor. Then the people of the village made a discovery and a decision. They renamed their town Bugalagrande, “Buga the great!” They were grateful for their town, their families, their work in their place and they wanted to know that the size of their neighbor in no way limited their lives!
I came across all of this because our small church in our small town just had the opportunity to help build a new church building for a faithful group of faithful people who had outgrown their modest meeting place - in Bugalagrande!
And the name sort of became a rallying cry for me, and the few other silly folks who think like I do and like to say fun words.
Earlier this year I was in the presence of a wonderful young woman. She was describing the very large church in the large city with whom she worships and serves. It sounded like a very wonderful church. She said it was one of the “mega churches.”
I responded “mine too”!
I can say that with all honesty for two reasons. God has pretty much always worked through the small and obscure to do His mighty works, mega works, of love and mercy. It was David, the least of the brothers, who confronted Goliath. It was Paul, with his “thorn in the flesh” and (lets be honest) abrasive personality, who took the Good News to us. It was Mary, a teenager in a time when young women were hardly noticed, who gave birth to the Lord of all good things. It was in choosing the weak that God shows his strength and wisdom. So there’s that.
But I also want to affirm what I have seen with my own eyes. I have seen a small church in a small town accomplish miraculous works of grace. They have built churches in many lands. They have fed multitudes. They have nurtured babies and comforted grieving people. They have overcome every obstacle in apostolic overcoming holy ways. They have started ministries and movements that are reaching the world with a redemptive love. They persevere in loving one another during this perilous season. That doesn’t even scratch the surface. It can’t, because “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things which God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
In you there is a grace and greatness that is vastly beyond your numbers, and even your abilities. It is something born of God. But it is lived out because of your commitment to the love of Jesus. When I allow myself the opportunity “I thank my God for you, each time I think of you. And when I pray for you, I pray with joy.” (Philippians 1:3-4)
So Bugalagrande my friends. BUGALAGRANDE! And Bugalagrande to all of you other Bugalagrandes out there!