I went to church last night.
It wasn’t a typical worship service, but God was there. He was speaking to His people and His people were speaking to others for him.
He was speaking in the guys who spent 2 1/2 hours in the cold and the wind (and the windchill was in the mid 20s – balmy for January, cold for October) to make sure that everyone got inside and back to their cars safely.
He was speaking in the people who made popcorn all night long.
He was speaking in the guy who handed out hot dogs to people all night long. Even more evident of God’s grace was knowing that many of the people who ate those hot dog “meals” are struggling to put food on their tables.
He was speaking in my 13 year old who handed out candy at the ring toss game all night.
He was speaking through the smiles on the little kids faces when they “got one” in the ring toss game. He was speaking in the smiles on the big kids faces when I moved the ring toss way back to make it harder for them.
He was speaking through the lady who spent the night wandering a very loud game room, carrying her five month old, just watching to make sure everyone had enough supplies and everyone was enjoying themselves.
He was speaking through the lives of the prayer team that was quietly assembled off in one corner praying for the lives and hearts of those who were there. He was speaking through them into the life of my “other” 13 year old who went and prayed with them.
And His people were speaking to others for Him. The smiles on their faces were speaking to others – “Church is not a scary place to visit.”
The joy that was expressed at the cute kids Halloween costumes were speaking to others saying, “You are important to us – thanks for being here.”
The “thanks for coming” greetings that everyone received as they walked in the door told people that they were valued.
Yeah, sure it was “just” a Halloween party, but it was so much more than that.
Yeah, it was a crowded building with noisy games and loud music, but it was so much more than that.
God was using His people. He was using His people to speak to children who might be having a hard time otherwise. He was using His people to provide a warm meal to those who might be struggling to provide one. God was using His people to provide a warm friendly and safe place to have some “Halloween fun.”
God was using His people to send a message to both the churched and the unchurched people.
The message? “God loves you, we want you to enjoy yourself and we want you to feel like you are welcome at church.”
This church spoke loud and clear last night. It made an impact on many, including me and my kids as we helped.
Oh, and this little cutie? She’s from Liberia and a friend of mine sponsored her family to come here and she was born shortly after they got here – and named after my friend. So, a quickie selfie with a cute little girl…….
Church – wherever two or three are gathered in His name. There were a lot more than two or three there last night and His name was definitely present…….