Pastor's Notes

 
Dear Friends,
 
We were all gathered around the counter in the kitchen and seated at the tables waiting for the meal to be served. We were sipping coffee and visiting about the “important” things in life. As everyone seated themselves around the tables, greetings were extended to those who were visitors. Someone made announcements about the upcoming activities. Up to this point we could have been almost any group - the Rotary, the Lions, PEO, the Volunteer Firefighters, or any one of a dozen groups or organizations. Coffee, comments on the weather, announcements, and small talk catch just about everybody. Then a young singer, Billy Crockett, was introduced and he stood before us with his guitar. He asked us if we would sing with him before he sang for us, and he softly led us: “Lord, prepare me, to be a sanctuary . . .” and then, “My chains are gone. I’ve been set free. My God, my Savior has ransomed me. And like a flood his mercy rains - unending love, amazing grace . . .” and last, “How great is our God, sing with me. How great is our God, and all will see, how great, how great is our God.” Suddenly we were not the Rotary, or the Lions, or the PEO. We were worshippers. In our acknowledgement of the Lord in a few verses of song, each of us, in a way that was both private and corporate, had heard the voice of God speaking. One night we were coming to the end of our meal and domino night together. We had shared a delicious potluck meal and had visited in the living room for a long time. We are all close friends and it seemed good to have a quiet, unhurried time together. We laughed and talked and commiserated about a variety of situations in our lives. Finally, one of the couples said they would have to leave and everyone else got up and put on their coats too. We were standing in the front hall by the door, visiting for a final moment or two. Someone suggested we pray together before we parted. With bowed heads we lifted our hearts together to our Lord, and as we did, the bonds of friendship slipped tighter around us as we all recognized the calling voice of the Lord who makes us one. I know it sounds better to sing when Billy Crockett leads us with his guitar. But, you can hum a chorus or two of a sacred song to yourself in the car on the way to work. And I know it’s easier to pray when you are in a circle of old friends with locked arms. But you can also breathe a prayer in the car on the way to the grocery store. If you will acknowledge, recognize, hum, pray; if you will commit yourself to the process of listening, you will begin to realize that the voice you have heard so often across the days of your life has been the voice of God. In the Master’s service, Steve