Following Sunday morning church services (wherever I happen to be attending in a given week), I generally tend to reflect back upon the message throughout the day. Sometimes, you’ll find me working out thoughts here on this site.
I had a LOT to reflect upon.
And no offense to the pastor, but it wasn’t all because of his message.
It was because I witnessed something in his leadership and his church that he should be VERY proud of and thankful for.
During the sermon, there was sudden commotion in the back of the sanctuary. As I sat toward the front, everything kind of hit in slow motion. I had been engrossed in the message. Taking notes and flipping back and forth in Scripture. Trying to keep my youngest entertained while simultaneously gleaning as much as I could from the sermon.
The commotion caught my attention.
The pastor paused, and said, “oh my.”
Those words seemed to echo as the congregation turned to see what was going on. A million thoughts ran through my head as to what was happening. I couldn’t really see details. After what seemed an eternity (in reality no more than 1-2 seconds), I realized it was a medical emergency.
The pastor explained in a calm, collected voice that there was a young woman in the congregation there that experiences occasional seizures. He asked us all to bow in prayer, and he lead everyone in a brief prayer for her.
Then he asked the congregation to gather in small groups to pray.
As I sat there was my arms around two of my children praying, I was suddenly aware that the entire congregation was united in prayer for this young woman. As my words wouldn’t come, I could hear the prayers of others being lifted up.
It was almost indescribably beautiful.
A united body… a family concerned about one of their own.
Lifting words to the only one who can truly help.
In a few words?
It’s what the church should be.
This moment meant more to me than the world’s most perfect sermon.
It meant more to me than the most beautiful of songs.
And it meant more to me than just about any act of goodness or mercy I can fathom.
Because it gave me back some of the hope I’ve lost in churches over the past year. I saw God’s people acting as God’s people should. I saw evidence to what I had felt evident in the room for all of my time there: that God was at work there.
At the end of the service, when my oldest said, “Dad, I really like this church”?
I knew for certain.
I don’t know what this means for the long-term as we seek God’s will where we should be… but I do know it felt like a huge step in the right direction as we are working towards being whole again.
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