Sunday, May 27, 2012
I knew going into worship today that our pianist was going to be absent. And, I also knew our regular substitute was unavailable. So, I planned to sing a chorus or two that I knew I could lead without any musical assistance. But, what really surprised us as we were getting ready to start worship was the absence of the piano. No one really had the answer for that one, but we could only figure someone had it picked up for some work. And, oh yes, Memorial Day weekend took its toll and we were six instead of our usual dozen.
Then, a few minutes before the hour, good things started happening. Four more folks showed up. Since it was Pentecost, we took some time for sharing personal testimonies and both of those who shared were uplifting and encouraging. Laying the normal order aside, we sang our songs, shared the words of witness, had prayers, read the Word, and heard the sermon. When we finished, no one had the feeling that our worship was diminished by all the obstacles.
This has been the surprising thing about leading worship in this season of my life at a church with fewer resources than I had grown accustomed during the years of my active ministry. All the bells and whistles are nice. I still wish for a few of them, but I have learned they are not necessities for folks to experience worship. I am grateful it does not depend on what I do. If such were the case, we would leave with no desire to ever return. What also give me a grateful heart is the way the Holy Spirit keeps showing up, reminding us of the presence and the power of an Almighty God even when there are so few heads to count.