Just another Sunday morning church service. I’m 55 and have attended church twice a Sunday for most of my life. A guess-timate would be some 5000 services in my day. You might think it just gets ordinary and repetitive after a time. Not so.
These are the things I saw at church yesterday.
I saw a doting dad smile in absolute adoration at his bald young son. I saw fresh purple coneflowers and white Shasta daisies grace the sanctuary in glass vases that caught the light. I saw a restless four year old rest his head trustingly on the shoulder of his fourteen year old babysitter. I saw an usher joke with an old friend as he headed into church. I saw a friendly adult ask a teen how things were going. I saw a middle-aged woman ask the same of an elderly man. I saw an organist and pianist play duets that offered up their best accompaniment to the congregation and the Lord.
I saw a house of God full to the brim with expectant faces, eager for the good news of God’s faithfulness to all generations. I saw a young pastor give his utmost to do justice to the Word of God and the sacrament of baptism to two new members. He preached with convicted preparedness, and spoke to the parents with warmth and hope. I saw a young wife and mother slip her hand into her husband’s as they stood together to speak their thankful vow. I saw the children of our church family skip to the front to witness the baptisms up close, the pastor handling the milling chaos with good humour and ease. I saw a senior citizen lean forward, smiling, totally engaged in the moment.
I saw the faithful dig into their wallets and give to the work of the church. I saw a powerpoint slide show that highlighted the fun and energy of the VBS program held the week before. Dozens of teachers and helpers, grinning into the camera. A hundred children or more sporting colourful t-shirts, working on crafts, and singing songs.
I saw a grandma lift her hands in quiet praise during the doxology.
I saw God work. It’s fearsomely beautiful to behold.