As church concluded in walked two young men carrying a small plastic table covered with a bright tablecloth, which had a plastic plate with four sandwiches. These sandwiches were made of 3 slices of white bread dapped sparingly with butter and a warm bottle of coke. They placed this table in front of us and then sat down with the rest of the congregation.
Psalm 36:8, “We feast on the abundant food you provide; you let us drink from the river of your goodness.” (GNT)
And then I understood…they were all looking at us and waiting for us to receive this offering of food and hospitality. So with hearts full of love for this community of believers we eat these precious sandwiches. It might not have been the roasted pig from the school graduation, but it was as important of a gift…so we at
Psalm 22:22, “I will speak Your Name to my brothers and sisters when I praise You in the midst of the community.” (VOICE)
Several of the women and children stayed and visited with Libby and I. The young girls were very intrigued by Libby's height and golden hair. This sweet fellowship after the church service will always be treasured in my memories.
Seated in the middle of the benches, an elderly woman dressed in her best, with a stick as a cane in one hand and an umbrella in the other. She greeted me with a toothless grin and white-rimmed eyes scared with cataracts. And then this nervous face peeked out from beside her 90-year-old “Lola”, her grandmother, to see who these foreigners were. She caught my eye again…there behind the center hand hewn coconut palm pole was a young adult girl who had Down's syndrome. Her shy eyes met my smile. She peeked at us…very curious about who we were. So I got up walked over to her and sat on the bench across from her. She looked deep into my eyes but said nothing…although I saw a timid invitation in them.
John 4:23-24, “It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.” (MSG)
The other children were eager to greet us…little girls sat around Libby as they chatted…you know the way young children do…no one really is a stranger…just friends, someone to enjoy as you spend time with one another.
We sang songs together as the little girls taught us one…we would exchange the gift with a song from us. I taught them “Rise and Shine”…the song about Noah’s Ark… I am sure they thought I was hilarious as I acted out the different animals especially the kangaroo! I could see Libby’s smile as she watched her goofy mom. But never a look of distain…she too was enamored by these children…we all laughed together as we sang. I looked back at Libby so very grateful for the time God had given us in the company of such good-hearted people!
We should reconsider how we do church with the need to have buildings, programs and numbers.
Romans 12:1-2, “Brothers and sisters, in light of all I have shared with you about God’s mercies, I urge you to offer your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice to God, a sacred offering that brings Him pleasure; this is your reasonable, essential worship. Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete.” The Voice
We need to be the churches with out walls.
“Come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come to him with thanksgiving.
Let us sing psalms of praise to him.
For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains.
The sea belongs to him, for he made it.
His hands formed the dry land, too.
Come, let us worship and bow down.
Let us kneel before the Lord our maker,”(NLT)