Sunday, January 27, 2013

Church #2

There is one grand, all-comprehending church; and if I am a Christian, I belong to it, and no man can shut me out of it. ~William E. Channing

We invited a family from our former church over for lunch as they have become good friends. We ate hamburgers that were half beef and half rabbit. Then their six year old daughter and the Princess played together inside and out, while we adults played a game called Pass the Pigs that is the latest and greatest tickle for my friend, so much that she takes it everywhere with her in her purse—I know, scary but true. Not seeing each other on Sundays mornings anymore, we have lots to talk about and talk we did...to the past the time that we should have prepared to leave to visit to Church #2 at before its service started; we did make it just fifteen minutes late.

This church meets on Sunday nights. It owns the building, but another church meets on Sunday mornings there that we might also add to our visit list; how can we pass up a church with a name like Hearts on Fire? Church #2 is a small church with no children and just a few teens, or so it seems as about a third of the people were involved in another event/ministry that night.

We walked into the music portion of the worship service. The first thing we all noticed is that some of the people had brightly colored, but plain, silk flags that they waved as they were singing as the Spirit moved them, I was thinking. At first it was attention taking because it was new to us, but then it seemed relaxing and almost like a spiritual cleansing of the sanctuary. This was something new and different for us. Since then I have researched it and found that banners are traditionally symbolic in the Bible for various things and recently seemed to be revived in the worship services of some churches.

My daughter was tired after the afternoon of play and made it obvious, as she hid her face by tilting her head down with hair falling around it, that she was not in the mood for a church this different. She felt uncomfortable and did not seem to join in the Spirit of the worship.

I also felt outside of my element, which I found quite ironic. Had I not introduced a number of songs in our former church that the other members did not know? Did it not make them uncomfortable? What did I encourage them to do? To just listen and pray instead of trying to sing? To worship the Lord as the Spirit moved them? This is what both my husband and I did.

Sometimes we sang, sometimes we prayed. Most of the people did exactly the same. Some moved around to different areas of the sanctuary and some swayed, and I would not have been surprised if any had broke out in dance, but none did. We did not stand because we felt our daughter needed extra attention and we both talked to her off and on. She asked about the banners and I encouraged her to ask the people after the service.

The songs portion was quite long all in live performance videos being projected and we only knew the very last song, but there were lyrics on the screen and they repeated a lot, so we could sing along. I found myself often just listening and worshiping God in my heart—such a sweet anointing there! It was just truly worshiping the Lord in song within the repetition. I don't know what we missed at the beginning that may have introduced the praise and worship, but later the pastor referred to the time as "loving on the Lord." Yes, that is exactly how it felt.

There were few people. It is a very small church, but God is not mentioned as a Someone we hope to impress, a bystander, or the Lord with which we are to get right, but as the God we love, praise, worship, acknowledge unabashed, boldly as if He is honored in every thought...as He should be. The Holy Spirit was not a second thought thrown in for good measure; He is the Leader of this church. That is how they talked of Him and I could see it, I could feel it, I loved it!

The pastor and his wife, also a pastor, had spoken as one of visiting pastors a few times in our former church. His messages were always exactly what we needed to hear at the time they were given. They remembered us and thought that our former church may have closed, but we explained after the services that we had resigned and the church is continuing so far.

He said that his gift is in prophetic teaching. Among other things, we were given handouts of the Hebrew calendar and invited to the Rosh Chodesh Adar Celebration on February 10th. Rosh Chodesh is the name for the first day of every month in the Hebrew calendar, marked by the appearance of the new moon. This church observes the Hebrew celebrations, which my husband and I find very appealing also. This celebration is simply a potluck dinner. We were also invited to have a meal with the pastor and his wife. I will be writing them an email thanking them for welcoming us.

They do not have membership and he mentioned that he could not find any Biblical reason for it—interesting. However, they are absolutely open to anything the Lord is leading them to do whatever it may be, even if it is to begin having membership. Such desire to please and obey our Lord! It really is so very rare beyond the talk, but I believe these people do have it.

I really was surprised how accepting my husband was of the differences in worship and how much my daughter was not, although I think if she had been offered a flag...she would have been into it. Although it might not have what our daughter would like, such as children her age, she would have such a good opportunity to learn about the celebrations and rituals Jesus honored and how to come to a real personal relationship with Lord. We could learn much within this church. It is also on our revisit list. It has been in the back of my mind that we might be involved with two churches and this would be one of them, but as they would say, that depends on the Holy Spirit and I only desire to please my Lord.

~ My Lord, thank you for the opportunity to worship You in this unique and loving place. I ask you bless this church and its pastors. ~

2 comments:

  1. Oooh. Sounds lovely. I like the sound of this one! ☺

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    Replies
    1. It is rare to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit as soon as you walk into a place, but we did. Unfortunately, I was somewhat distracted by my daughter and her mood. After a good night's rest though, she talked about the worship service in a better light.

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