Folks, it is Friday, May 1, 2015. Can you believe it, May already!
Garrison Keillor writes about Larry, a resident of the fictional town of Lake Wobegon. Larry was saved 12 times at the Lutheran Church, an all-time record for a church that never gave altar calls. There wasn’t even an organ playing “Just As I Am Without One Plea” in the background. Regardless of that, between 1953 and 1961, Larry Sorenson came forward 12 times, weeping buckets and crumpled up at the communion rail, to the shock of the minister, who had delivered a dry sermon on stewardship. But now he needed to put his arm around this person, pray with him and be certain he had a way to get home. “Even we fundamentalists got tired of him,” Keillor writes. God didn’t mean for you to feel guilty all your life. There comes a time when you should dry your tears and join the building committee and grapple with the problems of the church furnace and the church roof. But Larry just kept repenting and repenting.
–Garrison Keillor, Leaving Home; (New York: Viking Press, 1987), 182.
Friends, There is a time to go to church where we attend Sunday School, small group study, volunteer at one of the many offerings, worship and participate in the many venues of music ministries: choir-hand bells-ensembles-Modern Service music—and the list goes on. In other words, there is a place for you to offer God-given gifts, so that the church and the community can be blessed. However, there are times when we come to church just to worship and get “right” with God; to hear a word of hope and sing a song of praise…and rightly so. Often, I just listen to the scripture being read, sermon preached (Alex-preaching), hear the songs sung and worship as best as I can where I am.
Yet, there are times when we must “join the building committee and grapple with the problems of the church furnace and the church roof.” Right now, we do not have issues with the church furnace or roof—Praise God. But one day we will. These moments occur in the life of the church seemingly in the most inopportune times; nevertheless, they do happen.
Where are your gifts best used in the life of the church? Could you help teach kids how to dance, or adults about personal finances, or teach about the love of God, or a particular book of the Bible? The list is endless and the needs are great. Heck, I am about to do some perennial planting and could use an extra pair of hands, or two. Think about this…we have been call to serve in some capacity. What is yours? Talents and abilities offered to God make a difference.
See you Sunday in church. Get connected, to God—one another—to possibilities.
VIM=Very Important Message: Send me 10 words about “Thoughts of Mom.” Alex and I want to put them on the screens in the sanctuary during morning worship on Mother’s Day 2015. Please email these to Alex (firstname.lastname@example.org) or myself (email@example.com) no later than Wednesday, May 6th.
Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58 (NRSV)