The wind is whistling through the willows in Little Egypt. Although it is 63 degrees the 25 to 40 mile per hour gusts create a chill in the air. After much moaning and maneuvers Aaron and Jonathon and I finally disassembled and removed all of the old treadmill…to make room for the new one that is arriving tomorrow. Our trash removal company has removed all of it from our front yard by the road…and we are joyful that it is gone without incident. A church friend of mine is missing in action. This person has encouraged me on several occasions through the years…and I have had numerous enlightening conversations with him…and I feel that I have failed him in some way…
I began attending a little non-denominational church in Elkville, Illinois in 1969. My mom and I had seen a lot of sad times…and church made me exceedingly happy. The uplifting songs and the inspiring sermons and the fellowship of others who cared about my welfare was like an oasis in the desert. Church should, ideally, be a drawing to all ages and races and ethnicities. Sadly this is not often true. As a lad of 12 years old I began to make it my practice to greet every member of our congregation each time that I was in the sanctuary. People attend church where they feel wanted and are appreciated and loved. I also developed quite a love for the Bible and read it on a daily basis. It was my practice, in my early days, of marking my Bible with colored pens in the attempt to make it a hybrid study Bible. My pastor at that time worked to develop my love for the scriptures and encouraged me in speaking publicly in our services…from time to time. I have always been a reluctant speaker. In school or in church or in my career…preferring to listen than talk…I learn so much more!
A plan for church worship that reaches out to the community that it ministers to…must include music and sermons that all ages can connect too. If we fail to have a message for humanity…whatever their age or station in life…we have failed to fulfill Christ’s admonishment to us. ‘And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.’ Mark 16:15. KJV
I was the youngest person in my first church. I was similar to the Corona Virus in one aspect…I was Novel. Throughout my life I have had an affinity for those who were older than me. As a boy I was told that I was young numerically but that I had an old soul. I determined, early in my life, that I did not want to hurt anyone…I wanted to help people. This philosophy guided me during my 25 years of management/administration at Southern Illinois University @ Carbondale. I have had to make hard decisions regrading personnel on many occasions…but it was not before I had a detailed soul search to determined that I had done everything in my power to facilitate their success.
We live in a lonely world. Most people that we are acquainted with are lonely at least some of the time. Our social universe is incased in our smart telephones and our lap tops and our computers and our iPads…but we are suffering starvation when it comes to connecting to another human being that cares about us and understands us and desires the best for our future. In the days of Jesus the christian church was persecuted and the government crucified our Savior. To be a member of the early church took moxie! It was neither politically popular or expedient or the thing to do to aid career advancement. ‘When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Matthew 27:24. KJV