Pastor’s Perspective 1-10-17
Toward the end of last week, the weather forecast for the weekend wasn’t looking good at all. We were prepared to cancel services if we needed, and thought we might have to. Geron and I both came in to the church on Saturday to visually inspect the grounds and discuss the latest forecast before making the final decision to go ahead with the services and other Sunday evening activities. Fortunately, we got minimal precipitation and most people were able to get out to worship and participate in youth choir and life groups.
As I mentioned in both services on Sunday, I kept thinking about the story of the homeless gentleman Jeff Thomson told during the Singing Christmas Tree. How he just smiled when asked where he might sleep on a cold January night and said he thinks about Jesus on the cross whenever he faces less than comfortable temperatures at night. I found myself praying more diligently for the homeless throughout the weekend and am looking forward to serving them breakfast at Operation Inasmuch Tuesday morning with other men from my Bible study. I also welcomed Sunday as another opportunity to worship the One who endured unspeakable suffering so that I can have eternal life. Sometimes it takes the perspective of someone who has so little to help us see and appreciate all that we do have.
I also thought about the many Christians around the world who are persecuted for their faith. They gather in secret as often as they can, at great risk, just to worship together. Worship opportunities are so important to them that they are willing to risk their homes, jobs, family, health, even their lives, to be with other believers. It is a reality so foreign to our existence that it is difficult even to imagine.
We will cancel services at church when conditions warrant. We have done so three times in my 7 ½ years here. Twice for icy conditions and once because of Hurricane Matthew last October. Even when we make the call to have services in less than ideal weather, we do not expect or want anyone to feel obligated to come if they have any concerns about their health or safety.
We are extremely blessed to live in a country where we can worship freely whenever we choose. Attendance at services this past Sunday and youth activities Sunday evening indicate our people treasure this privilege.
See you Sunday! ~ John