Monday, August 22, 2011

"Shadrach, Meshach, and Amigo......"

Sunday evening service was given to the youth, the final portion of it set aside for the elders to pray over them before their return to school. Kindergarten and up shared Bible verses and songs, the lyrics of which were often unable to be deciphered, voices too inexperienced with microphones. It made no difference. They were our kids. At the end of one little girl’s solo, the pastor came forward to speak of his own childhood, having been raised in old-time holiness, his parents faithful to their commitment and his learning at an early age a tangible encounter with Christ that yet feeds him as he goes. Ten people or more would go forward at his invitation for other to know such a reality in a relationship with their Creator… Still, just that morning, during worship, a friend had whispered to me of his father regaining his exuberance behind the pulpit, having recently resigned a position on our staff and returning unto whomsoever might ask him to preach. Knowing most of the circumstances leading his dad to such decision, I whispered back how this was a good church, but there is a freedom beyond it; and he replied “Yes; it’s a good place to come and not get involved!”… Whether coincidence or not, during the sermon, then, the pastor took us to the prophetic declaration of John the Baptist concerning Jesus immersing believers into the Holy Ghost and fire, that latter, according to the messenger before us, able to burn away all our impurities, all of our baggage and bondages. “Yes,” I thought; “It incinerates, yet does not destroy our humanity. We remain men.”……

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