Sunday, February 10, 2013
The Body in Motion
One of my very favorite places to worship is at Riverstone Church in Marietta, GA where my daughter-in-love is the youth pastor; the reason being that I know when I step through those doors, I will experience the presence of God in a very personal and real way. Granted, that should happen through any church doors we enter, but we also know that isn't always the case. And so when I knew I was going to be visiting my son and his wife this weekend, I looked forward with anticipation to this morning's worship.
The entire service proved powerful and relevant from beginning to end: the singing, the receiving of the elements during communion, the commissioning of a mission team to Ghana as well as the testimony from several members who minister at a local trailer park, the preaching of the Word itself, and finally, the intercessory prayer at the end of the service. But there was one moment that just blew me away.
After communion, the pastor stepped away from the platform, took a huge basket in his arms and said, "Tony, would you come down here, please?" Out of those gathered, a young man in his early twenties came forward. Pastor Tom told the congregation, "Tony's mother died last week, and they won't have the funeral until he can come up with the money to pay for it." I'm not sure of his next exact words, but I'm certain it was something on the order of, "So, as the body of Christ, what are we going to do about it?"
What happened next is something so powerful that no words could do it justice. Just know that for the next 5 or 10 minutes people poured out of their seats to bless this young man -- throwing both cash and checks into this tremendous basket he was now holding. No doubt he wiped tears (as did the rest of us) from eyes wide with astonishment.
After a period of time, the pastor remarked, "Jesus says this is enough." But you know, the body was in motion, and it just couldn't quit. People kept on giving and giving.
I don't even know where to take this blog entry or how to bring it to a close. All I know is that not only did I experienced the presence of God in a very personal and real way, I witnessed up close and firsthand the body of Christ of whom, just minutes earlier, we had consumed in the bread and wine.
I think that's the way it's suppose to work.
No ordinary moment...