Little churches scattered over this country have just clicked on their heaters for another Sunday. They are small, old churches that echo and smell of fresh brewed coffee. I can hear laughter and greetings of attendees who have walked through the same double doors for decades.
Coats and ties, pantie hose and slips. Someone is playing an organ as the members come in the doors, shake hands, and take off their coats. Just down the hall are a few Sunday School rooms. One has an old piano dedicated to the old lady who used to play it. A few dusty Bible’s sit on top of it. There’s a picture of Jesus holding a lamb. One room has a few toys and a wallpaper border of clowns and blocks.
There’s thousands of little churches getting ready for this morning. Communion cups are filled. Bulletins are printed. Offering plates at the ready. Pastor’s looking over their notes one more time, praying that You would come and change someone today. Men like Robin Sigars, Adam Turner, David Cook, and Jim Witcher have readied your Word. Bless them, Father. Speak through them.
These churches are not full of perfect people or programs, but neither are the big ones where thousands attend. Each have those who would die for You and those who can’t wait to get to lunch.
I have been both.
They have those challenged and enraptured by Your Word and those whose eyes are weighted like cinder blocks have been clipped to their eyelashes.
I have been both.
Stomachs growl. Hearts break. Minds wander. Giggles suppressed. Tears fall. They are full of worshippers and mockers, lovers and strangers, lost and found, old and young, those with plenty and those with nothing.
Your churches. Your people. They gather for one reason –whether it be out of habit, compulsion, conviction, guilt, force or joy–they have gathered for You.
Be in their midst, dear Jesus. Touch them all deeply with you love. Speak through the four year old teacher, the tired minister, the old hands of the greeter. And, receive their worship. Receive it from the cries of the infant to the applause from the sanctuary. Be blessed, dear Lord.
We gather for you.