Worship in Community
David N. Anderson of Independence, MO, USA
So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. -2 Corinthians 5:17-19
Unfortunately, I don’t recall her name. The years cloud my memory. However, I remember her ministry-and how the Holy Spirit blessed us that day.
As mission center president, I was presiding over the final worship service of the mission center conference. I had asked a young woman to provide a ministry of music by singing a solo. Although I had never met her before, a colleague mentioned that she had a beautiful voice.
My co-worker was right! When this young woman began singing “Amazing Grace,” everyone became attentive. We could feel the Spirit gently move upon us. During the second stanza, her voice faltered. In the spirit of the moment, the soloist became emotional and struggled with the words. Soon, she couldn’t continue.
Suddenly, from the congregation, someone stood, moved to her side, and joined her in singing. The duet was beautiful. Then, another stood and joined them-and then another. Then, unexpectedly, all of us stood and sang the beautiful words of “Amazing Grace,” acknowledging God’s blessing of grace-with tears in our eyes.
This sacred moment stands out clearly in my memory. A seemingly routine ministry of music by a young woman with a beautiful voice turned into an excellent example of communal support in worship. God was with us that day!
“Attention is the beginning of devotion” (Mary Oliver).
Spend a few moments paying attention, wherever you are. Notice your surroundings. What draws your focus? Look more closely at detail and color. Notice what pulls or prods within you. How is the God-in-all-things speaking to you through what you see and feel right here, right now?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
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