No Kleenex left last Sunday
If you weren’t in worship last Sunday…well, it was just another example of why you don’t want to miss church. In a full morning that included visits from Pastor Jeremy and Sheila Mischke, we also celebrated the renewal of Jesse Hayes’s baptismal vows. Jesse is wheelchair-bound, stricken by a progressive neurological disease that has stolen control of his body. But Jesse loves Jesus and wanted to proclaim God’s goodness and faithfulness to him…even if he could only nod in response to my questions. It was one of the most moving moments in my ministry, watching his friends carry Jesse up to a chair and kneel around him as I asked questions and drenched his head. This man, who has not received the healing for which we have prayed, wanted nonetheless to declare his confidence in Jesus who has “overcome the world.”
I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. Even the most stoic among us were moved, I’m sure, by the power of his wordless testimony.
I asked a few others to share their thoughts about that service:
“Jesse’s renewal of baptismal vows caused me to reflect on my own condition before the Lord: my friend, Jesus, carrying me to the Father; me, unable to respond even to the grace of God. And yet here I remain today, cleansed, standing because of the faithfulness of Jesus toward me.”
“Jesse’s broken body, which is visible to all, reminded me of my inner brokenness which is hidden to all but God, but just as broken and just as helpless apart from His grace.”
“I’ve never been in a church where they admitted that sometimes, God DOESN’T answer our prayers for healing. I found it very honest and freeing.”
“The cry of Jesse’s heart! Jesse simply had to publicly proclaim what God is doing in his heart. He needed all to know that God is faithful even in dire and painful circumstances. Jesse has found more grace instead of less in this place; he has found God’s voice louder rather than muted; he has also found his church more loving.”
So, how did God use that moment in worship to touch you?
This Sunday will be different…and no different. It won’t be Jesse and baptismal waters that God uses to speak to us. But he will meet us through scripture, music, the words of Dave Eubank and the Lord’s Supper. I promise. Please…be there…be there a little early…and be ready to meet God. Again.
P.S. This Sunday marks the last day of our fiscal year. For all who have sacrificed to support what God is doing in our midst, thank you! For our givers-in-waiting, feel free to jump right in! By Sunday. Please…Here is a direct link to online giving.