Sunday, August 30, 2009
I spoke to her and her husband as they took their usual backrow seat in the Sanctuary. She was not the first for worship as eight others had already gotten settled in their front-of-the-church seats. When she greeted me she bowed her head in what I have to come to understand as a traditional eastern greeting. As I moved on to the narthex, I noticed that as soon as she sat down, she bowed her head in an obvious posture of prayer. It was so out of the ordinary that I just stood for a moment watching. When she finished her prayer, she opened her Bible to read. Later in the day I mentioned what I had witnessed to Yoon, our Minister of Music who is Korean by birth, and she told me, "In our culture people arrive early so they can pray before worship."
It is no wonder that there are such great stories out there about the power of the Korean Church. What I have also learned about the Korean Church from Yoon is the practice of "Dawn Services." In the Korean culture the church gathers every morning for a 4:30 AM Prayer Service and this is followed by other services at 5:30 AM and 6:30 AM.
It is strange that I preached about visions this morning. I have often wondered what a praying church would look like. I saw a vision of it today as I watched a woman sitting in her pew praying and heard a story from another woman about people on the floor before God at 4:30 every morning.