Sunday, December 12, 2010

A New Spirit . . .

I spent most of the weekend with my Mother to celebrate her 85th birthday . . . today I attended Worship with her . . . she has been a member of a smaller membership UMC congregation for about 10 years now . . . they are on their 4th pastor . . . it, like many mainline smaller membership congregations, has been struggling . . . their organizing pastor left after receiving his D.Min. to work for a national for-profit ministry . . . their 2nd pastor committed suicide . . . their 3rd pastor -- the pastor at the time that the greatest number of people left, was arrested and charged with a felony assault -- it was evidently changed to a misdemeanor, he plead no contest, paid a fine and the Bishop moved him to a new position . . . when I walked into the sanctuary today there was obviously a new Spirit moving in the church . . . I couldn't put my finger on . . . the sanctuary had been decorated for Advent (it was beautiful) . . . the seating had been changed to make it more intimate . . . there was a more traditional Worship service with hymns (in the past there were only two hymns and we only sang a verse or two of each) . . . the hymns went along with the Scripture readings (in the past this seldom happened) . . . there was special music . . . laity was involved in the Worship as readers and as folks that prayed . . . their was a children's sermon . . . the sermon was EXCELLENT and challenging . . . the pastor asked that I say the concluding prayer . . . afterwards she came to thank me . . . I told her that I sensed a new Spirit in the church . . . she told me that during the recent revival the guest preacher had done an exorcism -- not really but in a prayer had reclaimed the building and the congregation for the work of Christ . . . for the first time in a long time I think the congregation, I know my Mother does, senses HOPE . . . isn't this what Advent is all about!

Come Lord Jesus, Come!


No comments: