It’s Sunday – again. Funny how Sunday’s keep showing up consistently, every seven days. This week was interesting. Dealt with an ear infection – my first since I was a toddler; World Changer pre-project site visit; a car breakdown (fixed without cost); and miscellaneous meetings; preparing for an opportunity to teach a class on Islam to 8th grade students at Winston Middle School; and the normal day to day stuff of serving as a pastor.
This Sunday six families that I know of will miss worship – three families are ministering at another church as part of the Bikers For Christ ministry; one family is struggling with illness; two families are visiting out of town family members. It’s always a little discouraging facing an even emptier auditorium. But that is the life of small churches. In larger churches several families don’t leave as much a hole in the auditorium, but it really shows in our auditorium.
Yet, there are folks who will be here, people who are hungry to hear God’s Word, people needing the encouragement of meeting together. I see the family struggling with separation; I see aging people struggling physically against failing bodies and minds; I see folks who often only have conversations with others in this building; I see couples living far away from their adult children who struggle with loneliness (wait, that’s me!); I see a few adults attend without their spouse because their spouse is an unbeliever; I see some whose adult children are far, far from God even though they live within a few miles. I often liken our rural community to Appalachia of the West because of the systemic poverty and deep seated hopelessness that pervades our families.
So today I bring a message of hope: Jesus hears, Jesus speaks; and Jesus provides. Thanks be to God who brings us the victory!