Monday, October 24, 2005

I saw Jesus at church yesterday

For those of you who don’t ever do it, singing in the choir during worship has definite advantages. Usually you get to have your own seat, often more comfortable than those in the audience. In some churches, you get to wear a robe so that no one will know if your shirt is a little wrinkled or has a little stain.  In spite of the cliché, most pastors never really turn around and "preach to the choir" so you seldom get that eye contact which often gives you that guilty feeling that he knows what you did on Saturday night or how little you put in the offering plate.  In fact I've never been in a church where they passed the offering in the choir at all. You get to keep track of who comes in late, who leaves early, which couples don't seem to be getting along, whose children are out of control, etc.  In other words, you get lots of stuff to gossip, oops, share your deep-felt concerns with others. Of course there is a downside to all this. Some people actually expect you to be able sing and of course it is hard to claim you were deep in prayer when your head falls back, your mouth flops open, and you begin to snore.  

But sometimes you get to witness God moving in ways that most of those present don’t get to see.  At my church on Sunday, I got to see Jesus.  After the service had started, we were standing and singing when I saw a girl coming down the aisle toward the section where our youth normally sit.  I don’t know who she is, but have seen her before at some of our youth activities and am pretty sure she is still in high school.  Instead of squeezing into a row with a bunch of other kids, which is normal practice for our youth, she moved into an almost empty row near the front.  Almost everything about her indicated that she was typical of the girls her age that attend our church, (young, pretty, well-dressed, blonde, etc.). The one thing that made her very different was the little baby she was holding in her arms.  We finished the song we were singing and all sat down.  The pastor got up and read the scripture, one of my favorite passages. You know one of those that all those people in the congregation really need to hear.  But my eyes kept coming back to the young mother and her baby sitting pretty much alone right there in front of God and everybody.  As we stood to sing another song, I saw a group of our girls (girls who are leaders at their schools, a cheerleader, a class officer, a tennis player and others) move from a couple of rows back to come down and stand with her, surrounding her.  It was then that I noticed that we were singing about God’s amazing love.

I often complain about the way things are going at our church. I am often irritated about the way things are being done. I often gripe about the teaching, preaching, etc.  But yesterday, I got to see a group of our girls be loving and compassionate to a young mother and her baby.  Yesterday, I got to see Jesus at our church.

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