Every Wednesday in Lent, my church family gathers for homemade soup suppers with a Lenten Jazz Vespers service that follows. My current work schedule, along with the distance from work to church, prohibits my participation in the soup supper, but I am there for the service. On Wednesday, March 20 I arrived at the church 15 minutes before the service started so I took the opportunity to sit in a pew in the sanctuary to pray. I am blown away at how God had prepared my heart for what happened next.
While I sat and prayed, I noticed my church family and visitors were talking amongst each other in the Narthex. It was a very beautiful sound to hear and I thanked God for the life within the congregation.
Since we are without a devoted Pastor to our church, our awesome supply Pastor, whom we all love, has been leading our family in worship on Sundays, as well as our Wednesday evening services. His sermon was on the Gospel story where a woman poured the expensive perfume on Jesus. After Pastor talked for a short time, he invited the congregation to speak up and share what we do as a church family to serve Jesus. Like popcorn, voices popped up from the front, the back and each side of the church sharing the minitries that we offer to each other and the community. Such examples are Stephen Ministry, Personal Care Pantry, members rotate and feed the homeless at a shelter in the downtown area of our city, Vacation Bible School, Prayer Shawls, Food Baskets for the poor at Thanksgiving and Christmas, Shut-in Visitation, Easter baskets for the local children’s hospital, and the list went on. In fact, to keep the service within an hour, he had to cut the people short as they did not exhaust in sharing their examples.
God prepared my heart to be open to the ways we, as a congregation, are serving Jesus. We do not sit around and mope without a dedicated Pastor. In fact, we continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We continue to breathe life within our church and breathe life out into the community. I had tears in my eyes as even the professional Jazz Band, who shared freely of their time and talent that evening, played so beautifully adding to the blessing of the evening.
If you are having one of those days where life seems bleek and fruitless, take some quiet time with God and ask Him to open your heart to see how you serve Him. It took me about a week to realize how I serve Jesus because I consider myself very ordinary, although mindful of others. He showed me the many gifts and talents with which I have been blessed and that I have used them to be a blessing to Him.
May you realize what a blessing you are to others and Jesus.
Jesus Anointed at Bethany
6 While Jesus was in Bethany in the home of Simon the Leper, 7 a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.
8 When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. 9 “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”
10 Aware of this, Jesus said to them, “Why are you bothering this woman? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 11 The poor you will always have with you,[a] but you will not always have me.