Carol and Lee invited MJ and I and Aaron and Jonathon to First Presbyterian Church 24 years ago. MJ worked with Carol and Lee at the University. They described their love for their church. They told us of how friendly the members of the congregation were and how that they, Did not get into your personal business…but we’re there for you when you needed help.’ We visited for our first time because these two wonderful women wanted us to come…we felt welcome. When we arrived many people warmly greeted us. We felt that they were glad that we were there. After the 9:15 A:M: Sunday service we returned home to our little house in Elkville. That afternoon a car pulled up in front of our house and an elderly couple from the church brought us homemade cookies. Again, they told us how happy they were that we had visited and that they hoped that we would return next Sunday. We were honored and humbled by their generosity. At that time I had been attending church for almost 30 years…but I had never encountered a church that was so glad that I had dropped by.
We are emotional creatures. We are led by our heart and our head. Indeed…a solid theological foundation is vital to the ongoing following of Jesus…but without the heart…it is nothing. Have you ever heard a song that simply carries you to the land of Christs’ Love? Did you marry your spouse or partner…because it worked out on a ledger sheet? Or does the old hymn Amazing Grace resonate in your soul as regarding the miracle of your life with Christ?
God lives in our midst…in each of us. When our neighbor or friend…or the stranger among us needs to see God…they look to those who love them and who help them and who will listen without judgment to their needs. There was a common and well-established belief among Christians of former years in most churches that the Holy Spirit will assist you as you minister to those in need. This is not a strange doctrine as we Presbyterians believe in the Father and The Son and The Holy Spirit. Have you ever experienced the aid of the Spirit in assisting you in the message of Christ?
To accept that the Christian Story is the faith of untold humans over the past two thousand years…is to accept that mystical magical majesty of the narrative… that is still gripping the hearts of men and women and boys and girls…today…