A NEW COMMAND
This past week for me perhaps, has been the most amazing time of my life in the Church.
Sunday morning as the praise band opened the altars to Rock Of My Salvation, I felt the Holy Spirit descend upon that place of worship in power!
I felt greatly moved as Jennifer moved forward to kneel at the altar of submission, giving everything over to Jesus. I closed my eyes in silent prayer until Cindy whispered in my ear, “I love my church family!” I glanced once again to that place to see Jennifer surrounded by her church family, and in the depth of my soul I heard the words of our Lord on the night he was betrayed: “A new command I give to you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
I thought a lot about that moment this week. Jennifer Loving Jesus at the altar. The church loving Jennifer, Jennifer loving them back. Cindy loving her church family, and Jesus loving all of us back. What a GREAT Sunday it was!
I then moved on to District Assembly with a van full of wonderful friends. At first glance we looked to be a troop of 1 child and 6 adults, but it was soon revealed we were a troop of 1 adult and six children! (I will leave it to you to guess who was whom).
At assembly we were gifted with a General Superintendent who proclaimed his love for us time after time, and we responded back each and every time. Kevin Dunlop, Up State Superintendent showed his love in many ways. In my mind, this was shown most powerfully in how he took the time in front of the whole assembly to pray for each and every minister and pastor on the Up State District.
Yes, it was a great time and when Kevin stood up to give his report, he laid out a wonderful vision for our great district. He communicated so wonderfully the fact that “Healthy Churches Live, Living Churches Grow, and Growing Churches Change.” He had beautiful banners made up as a visual reinforcement so we would not forget.
On the way home from Syracuse, I thought a lot about that statement and I wondered about the people of the Naz. I thought, do we realize we have a vision here…has it been communicated well?
I pondered if I have been mistaken in not creating an official statement, with banners and flags and web sight headings? Have I missed the boat by not purchasing t-shirts with that official statement scrawled across the front?
I was in the very back of the van reviewing these things over and over again when I was drawn back into consciousness by loud joyous laughter. I watched and I realized new and deeper friendships had been formed over the weekend. That van was filled with joy! I smiled and thought, we love each other.
I have thought about Sunday worship, about District Assembly, about the time spent with the Bonno’s and the Valyou’s. I have also thought about how after arriving back at “The Naz” and were unpacking the van and packing our cars to go home.
I heard Xavier calling, Pastor! Pastor! I turned and he came running around the back of my truck and said “I need a hug, because I love you Pastor!”
I have spent a good deal of time reflecting on that moment, and I haven felt joy because of them.
When I think about that moment, the words of Jesus come back again: “A new command I give to you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you loved one another.”
We may not have banners, and pens, and Web sight heading and t-shirts, but we are getting the vision…to love one another, as Christ Jesus has loved us!
To God be the glory!
He loves you, and so do Cindy and I!