I Was Late For Church On Sunday
I was running late when I arrived at our church for the worship service last Sunday, so I quietly slipped in the back door and chose the first seat available. It was on the other side of the auditorium from where my husband, James, and I usually sit when he isn’t out preaching somewhere. This location on the “outer fringes” would not have suited him, but since I was alone, and, as I said, trying not to disturb others with my late arrival, I scooted into an empty row of seats just as the worship leader began leading the congregation in a praise song.
Within seconds, though, a middle-aged couple in front of me caught my attention. I wasn’t acquainted with them, but I could tell, by the way they sang the praise choruses with familiarity and enthusiasm, they were probably regular churchgoers. At one point during the singing, the husband looked over, smiled at his wife, and slipped his arm around her waist. She, in turn, patted his hand. Their loving gestures seemed to demonstrate a worshipful delight at sharing this experience together.
As I observed their obvious love for the Lord and for each other, it made me smile, and I felt blessed.
At the beginning of the second song, the couple’s son and daughter-in-law joined the couple, appearing to apologize for their late arrival. Although I was just guessing at their relationship, the “son” was the exact height and spitting image of his “dad,” so I felt safe in making this assumption. As soon as the younger couple unashamedly greeted the older couple with hugs and kisses, they too joined in singing the worship songs.
As I observed their outward affection toward one another, it made me smile, and I felt blessed.
As soon as the pastor began his sermon, all four individuals opened their personal Bibles and followed along as he read the Scriptures. Each one wrote down in the worship folder the different points the pastor was emphasizing in his message. When the pastor made a humorous remark about families in his talk, the four of them looked at each other and laughed, whispering back and forth for a moment as they enjoyed the joke together.
As I observed their attentiveness and serious approach to the hearing of God’s word, it made me smile, and I felt blessed.
On my way home from church, I thought about how four ordinary people had been a blessing to me. They were not Hollywood glamorous or especially attractive from a physical standpoint. Their clothes were not expensive or fashionable. None of them spoke any words of wisdom to me or gave me any spiritual insight.
Yet, they blessed me because they were expressing their love for each other and their love for God in the midst of worship, exactly the kind of blessing God Himself surely loves to receive.
“Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!” Psalm 34:3