Today I'm going to tell you two stories. I'm going to let God speak to your heart about each story.
Please let me know your views.
Many years ago I worked and lived in Louisville, Ky while attending seminary there. I worked in two very different churches helping out with their Special Needs ministries.
Church #1 was a large church, a mega-church. While there, we were fortunate enough to be one of two churches chosen to be visited by President Bush #1 (Current one's father). He was campaigning in our city and wanted to attend church. Because of the way security is around Presidents no one knew for sure which one he would attend. I lived in one of the church owned houses on the property and was amazed at how everything catered to the safety of the President's arrival including traffic on the roads close to the church.
Because, no church alive has ever been able to keep secrets it was known all over town the morning before, that President Bush may attend our church. Even though only the Pastor knew for sure the next morning, the church was packed out with people wanting a glimpse of the President. Secret Service men were at every door. A section of the sanctuary was reserved and marked off for the President and his party. Everyone was a little on edge and excitement sizzled through the air. I sat on the other side of the sanctuary from where President Bush sat. Partly because that is where us singles always sat, and partly because I was disturbed a little by all the pomp and circumstance. But I too couldn't help but sneak a glance over in that direction, just to see if I could see him too. Our pastor did a fine job and the choir sang extra good too. Everything went really well. The service was the talk of the staff meeting the next day. We all grinned when our pastor handed out copies of the visitor's slip he had signed for the church. I immediately stuck mine in my Bible. It is still in that same Bible today. But a question kept nagging at me and even as I relate this story today it still haunts me. Why all the fuss for the President of the United States, when we have the King of Kings here every Sunday?
The other church I was only at a short while, helping them get their ministry started. This church was what some would classify as a high church. It is formal and ritualistic in its worship style. In this church women did not wear pants. The hymns were old and extremely traditional.
No Southern Gospel or Contemporary music was sung here. In fact I don't ever remember any music that wasn't provided by an organ or piano.
Worship there was very quiet and serene.
It was Palm Sunday. I sat in the row behind my group of Special Adults who were from a nearby institution. Another lady in the church had begun bringing them and a ministry had been born. I have to admit I was daydreaming as the preacher was getting to the death of Jesus on the cross. I grew up in a little more lively a service.
That's when it happened. One of the special needs ladies in front of me stood up grabbed her head and screamed, "OH NO! They've killed my Jesus!" The realization of the cross had hit her for the first time. Quickly I and the lady who brought her sat her down and began consoling her. If we had thought it was quiet before...I don't think anybody but us was even breathing! The pastor after a few shocked minutes gathered himself and added (Probably for one of the only times in his life) an adlib to his message. "Well, we know that next Sunday we will celebrate Jesus coming back to life." The lady calmed down and everything resumed, but not as normal. I was trying not to giggle. Oh how I wanted to laugh out loud! I wanted to ask everyone that morning a question. I didn't. It wouldn't have been proper at the time. And to tell you the truth I'm not sure I would have liked their answers. So I'll ask you:
Who preached the message that morning?
Let me know what you think about my two churches and a view!
Oh, one more thing. My great Aunt Lily is on her death bed. It is just a matter of moments now. Zoie has been asked to sing at her funeral. So has my husband. Please pray for them neither has ever sung at funerals before. Zoie loves Aunt Lily and wants to do it. Pray God will give her His strength. Please don't tell me you think I'm doing the wrong thing(even if you think I am) for letting her do it. We have prayed a lot about this and I believe it is what the Lord wants. We are acting on faith.
I love you all deeply!