Wednesday, December 16, 2009
For Just One
This past Sunday night was our annual "Festival of Lessons and Carols." For those who might be unfamiliar with this worship service, it is a blend of selected readings and music of the Advent and Christmas season. Through Word and music we are reminded of the sinful nature of humanity and our need for Jesus who is our Savior. The service which is held here on Sunday afternoon is not always as well attended as worship planners would like, but this year was different. The Sanctuary was full with folks even sitting in the balcony.
What was most interesting was the appearance of David. He showed up here an hour or so before the service. First, he went to the chapel for prayer. His presence was announced by someone who came rushing into my Disciple group to tell me someone was praying in the chapel. Of course, there was something special about David. He was a soldier, awaiting immediate deployment to Iraq. By the time I caught up with him, he had left the Chapel and was in the Sanctuary waiting on the service to begin. He told me, "I saw the sign out front and wanted to attend worship tonight. It will be my last opportunity to worship in the United States before going to Iraq later this week."
Now sometimes we plan worship thinking about all the folks who are going to come. We want to be ready and prepared for everyone. We think about the 300 and not just the one. After talking with David, I found myself thinking, "God thinks differently than us. He surely sees the value in offering something for just one." If someone had told us ahead of time, "Only one person is going to come," we would likely turn out the lights, lock the door, and declare it not worth the effort. Ah, but then there is God whom Jesus says is like the shepherd concerned for just one. More than just chance was operative this past Sunday afternoon. God was at work and decided to use us to care for just one who belonged to Him. Amazing!