A few weeks ago I found myself sitting on an old wooden church pew, along with several generations of my fathers family. My Grandfather's younger sister had passed away just a few days after her 100th birthday, and we were gathered for a memorial service and her interment in the old cemetery across the road from the church. The church we were in was an old Methodist church that my family attended for at least eight generations. It is the first place I remember going to church and it is the place remember when I think about summer Sundays when I was a child.
As I listened to Aunt Fern's sons and daughter tell stories about her life and testify about her faith and her service to our Lord, I'll have to admit that my thoughts wandered a bit. I was remembering aunts and Uncles who were long dead, but who used to sit in that pew right over there. I was remembering listening to my grandpa teach Sunday school, standing about 3 feet from where I was sitting. I was remembering going up on the platform with my Mom and my younger sister Sue and all of us getting Baptized when I was about four. My trip to the past was interrupted when my dad's cousin Rodger, who was leading the service, asked all of us to stand and to turn to a hymn in the old song book in the rack in front of us.
(If you are reading this and thinking...hummm, an interesting story but what does this have to do with worship Randy? Just hang in there a little longer 'cause I'm getting to that part. R)
So I cleared my thoughts and stood as my daughter turned to the page that Rodger requested. I saw that the song was an old favorite of mine, How Great Thou Art. I turned and whispered in my youngest daughters ear," this was Grandma Minnies favorite song, When I was little she would stand right over there by the piano and lead the worship service" . Then It happened...Suddenly it was 1956. My Grandma,who passed in 1992, was standing in her spot, singing in her high, wavering voice. I looked to my left and my Grandpa was standing there singing along, and I was 4 again...Some of my moms uncles were there by Grandpa, and as I looked at my parents they both were 23 again...The emotions were just too much, my voice left and my eyes filled with tears...I looked away, dried my eyes,and when I looked back it was 2012 again.
The act of worship, the singing of that old hymn, is what caused the "time warp". I always think of Grandma when I hear that song, but this was different. I think that when we worship we are creating "threads" that we weave into the fabric of the Kingdom of God. These same threads bind us together, past, present, and future into one Body. That is the Body of Christ. Think about this. The next time you worship you are doing something that has eternal impact! The act of worship unites us, and joins us together, red or yellow, black or white, Methodist, Catholic, Baptist, or whatever, the threads of Worship we create bind us into one Body. Think about this, There is no time in the Kingdom of God...it is always the eternal now. When we worship we are joined not only to our contemporary brothers and sisters but to those who have gone before and also those who are yet to be...Eternal impact! Think about this the next time you worship...and look around..you never know who might show up...
Till next time...Randy