Saturday, April 15, 2017

We Will Gather

Swirls and turbulence disrupt the calm surface of the pond giving evidence the recently hatched brim are being chased down by hungry bass. Larger humps, preceded by smaller humps give away the presence of turtles who make three acres of water their home. Birds continue to sing and flit from branch to branch, and bank to bank.

A group of us spent much of the day preparing food, setting up tables and chairs, and grooming the landscape around the nearly two-hundred hear old building which provides a sanctuary for worship. Tomorrow will be the highest attendance we've experienced in the two years I've been leading the congregation of Hamilton Baptist Church. No one will write books about us, but we believe our presence in a small southern town of barely more than a thousand matters. We will break bread at 9:30-10:30.  At 11 a.m. the tiny hands of one of our children will grab the thick rope that reaches up into the bell tower. Pulling with all their might, a deep gong will ring out as the bell sways and the clapper strikes the sides. The entire town know we are gathered.

Most importantly, God will know we are gathered. Inside, we will settle into one-hundred year old pews. Poetic lyrics, written by contemporary Christ--followers as well as hymns written in the 1800's, true to the record of Jesus' resurrection will be sung. There will be prayers beseeching God's help--we always need His help. Scripture will be read aloud and declared to be God's Word, not man's. To some it will resonate. To some it will encourage. To some it will raise questions. To some it will mark a new beginning. But to whomever God sends His Word it will not return empty.

This Pastor will do his best to stay out of the way of the Spirit's work.

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