I was challenged this Easter, but it was done in a very round about manner. It started off as a feeling I got from a couple of comments made in an Easter service. The comments gave the impression that the congregations response was somewhat lacking. They kind of irritated me, but then I started to ponder what was said. I went back to the old advice that I would always give my sons. They would do something wrong, Dad would yell a bit and then I would remind them…..”Don’t listen to how he said it, but what he said”. If there is truth in the words, even if they were said a little harshly, then listen to the truth.
So I started to look for the truth in the words. It has taken about three days and about 1600 words that were deleted, but I did finally come to what I knew was some truth. It was something I kind of already knew, but had been using in a different context. What did I learn? Well, it was that He is God, and I am not. No matter how well I was prepared, or how eloquent I was, without the Holy Spirit whatever I had to say would fall short.
When I taught in the preschool class at church, we would have a circle time to start off all of our activities and story time. When we were in the circle, the first thing we would do is pray. Why? Well, have you ever tried to wrangle 40 or so preschoolers for activities? We would all get into a circle, and I would remind them that this was our time to talk to God. We would invite Him to come to our class, help us to learn and to help us have fun. For me the key was always including that invitation to be in our class. I wasn’t expecting God to come down on a cloud, but I always trusted that the Holy Spirit would take the words, activities, music, fun and make an impact. I was not the one who was able to do it, He was.
How did this concept apply to now? Well, those comments that may have irritated me at first, also made me think. My first thoughts went to what they could “do”, but then I wondered…..When I come in to church, am I ready to worship? Have I taken the time like I did with those kids, to bring my own heart into a place where I was ready to listen, learn and have fun? It is a question that I had not been previously thought about, but I know now that it is a question that is not only important to ask, but make sure I continue to answer in the future.