In the midst of Hurricane Irene this past weekend, God moments continued to creep in...in the most surprising places. Well, maybe not the most surprising, but I felt God's embrace during two particular moments in worship.
First was during both services when we paused to pray just before our final hymn. Attendance was low, due to the weather, but those gathered stopped and prayed. We knelt and prayed for those impacted by the storm, for those providing help to those in need, for those still awaiting the impact from the storm and for those who were not worshipping with us. We are community, the Body of Christ, we are united in the waters of baptism, we are strengthened and supported by the relationship we have with God through Christ and through the relationships we have with one another. Our small group gathered yesterday took time to pray for our brothers and sisters who could not be with us. We missed their presence. We were not complete without them. We prayed for their safety. It was a blessing to stop and pray about those who were not with us, because we were reminded that our community, the Body of Christ, the church in the world is bigger than just me. That prayer time humbled me yesterday...I was able to let go of my little issues and worries...and see the bigger picture and the people who are part of that bigger picture in my life and in the world.
Okay, the next awesome God moment was during the 9:30 service as the congregation and I chanted the Great Thanksgiving....at the beginning of Communion. Maybe I was moved by the prayer at the early service, but I took my eyes off the book and looked into the eyes of those who surrounded me. I could feel God's presence among us as we gathered, as we sang and as we gave thanks for the meal of bread and wine we were about to share with one another. I've only been here 7 months, but this is where I'm called to be. The feelings of welcome, support and nurture continue day after day...but there are some wonderful moments, where I can feel the love of God emanating from the congregation as we worship together. I continue to pray that worship in this place provides others those moments as well.
Okay, so maybe there were more than just two...
As we finish communion, we pray a post communion prayer, giving thanks to God for this meal that strengthens us and sends us out in humble service to others. In the midst of that prayer at the later service, a beeper went off, and a local firefighter was called out on a storm related emergency. That to me is what worship is all about...being fed and nourished through the Word and through the Lord's Supper that we are sent from this place to love and serve others. So I am thankful for that moment...and for all who have provided rescue assistance in the past and who continue to do so in the future.
One more great moment...
An impromptu lunch. Fun conversation, great food, many laughs. That is all :)
But I could keep going...enjoying a meal last evening with the folks at Trinity who give of their time to serve as pilots (small group leaders) for Fundocy...the ministry they provide for our youth is amazing. They rock!