I am not sure how many times this has happened in the past, however, at yesterday`s (Jan. 24, 2016) Sunday morning worship celebration that took place at Portland United Church, it happened again.
I clearly remember not so long ago, during a sermon where I had just finished saying, “And God Calls us…” that a visitor`s cell phone rang. I made sure not to look at anyone, so that no one feels bad, and waited for the laughter to stop and continued. We cannot plan such moments in life. What reminds me of this incident with the cell phone is the other incident that took place yesterday.
The sermon`s title was, “Do Not Mourn the Past: Draw Near to God”. The passage was Nehemiah 8, where people are listening to the Law of God and weeping. Ezra reminded them that their Joy in the Lord is their strength. Inspired from the one-day workshop the day before, where we discussed the new ways of doing church, I included a sentence that I heard there: “The only individuals who like change are infants with dirty diapers”. I could not believe my eyes when I saw one of our young mothers take her infant out of the sanctuary. Talk about “Show and Tell”… The entire congregation started laughing out loud and this could not have been planned with any better timing. I had to stop and tell everyone, “People, this was NOT planned”. We all needed a few seconds to compose ourselves and carry on.
In the evening Portland United Church hosted a wonderful concert, “The Lighthouse”, where congregants who brought their neighbours and friends to the concert asked me to retell the story of the morning…
I think in life we all get God Moments that we miss. When we are quiet and attentive we see more than we imagine. There is always something, someone, some presence greater than us who is with us.
Sister Joan Chittister writes “In Search of Belief”, the Ascension of Jesus “into heaven took all of us with him, beyond the limits of one kind of life to the limitless dimensions of another” (p. 138). These words remind me of the very fact that we need to pay attention to the things that are beyond what our physical eyes can see.
God moments are every where, we just need to BE.