It's Sunday, and I went to church. I know, it's summer, and why would you go to church in the summer? There's no Sunday school, and no choir, and there are plenty of other things to do. At least, that seems to be what several people think. But I AM the pastor, and I was presiding, so I went to church today.
Here's what I saw there:
I saw a smile on the face of a woman who told me that she wanted to give thanks for three years being cancer free. I saw tears on the face of a woman who wanted me to pray for the family of a friend of hers who died last week. I saw a teenager walk into the sanctuary by herself, sit down by herself, and then move to sit down next to her mother's best friend, and her friend's mother. I saw a three year old boy run up to the front of the church to get a small loaf of bread, and then run back to his mother and father -- and then run up to the front of the church again. I saw an older woman give our contemporary pianist a hug. I saw him smile.
I saw a plastic bag of weeds next to the wooden church that holds prayer concerns. The note with the weeds said, "These reminded me of the weeds that look like wheat, that we are not supposed to pull."
I saw little kids handing out small loaves of bread to people in the congregation. And then we began to sing, "Jesus lives again, earth can breathe again, Pass the word around, Loaves abound!"
I saw the face of a four year old girl when I said the words, "The body of Christ, given for you." I saw a couple hug one another while singing the hymn of the day, "Lord Whose Love in Humble Service."
I saw a woman in a wheelchair come up for the prayers and anointing after the service. When I asked her what she wanted me to pray for, she said, "Pray for the church."
I do. I pray for the church, the people of God, the ones who came and sang and prayed and cried and laughed with us today. I pray for the ones who were not here, for whatever reason, whether they are travelling or whether they are busy or whether they just can't figure out a reason to be here with us.
We miss you.