Last week I attended my District’s Pastors’ conference and I had the privilege of officiating at our communion service. Besides leading the worship service, this also gave me the opportunity of sitting while our District President preached the sermon for the service and since I was was seated directly behind the pulpit, I had a choice to make–I could look at the backside of my bishop for about 15 minutes or I could look at the congregation. I chose the latter and I believe I chose wisely.
Now understand that when I preach I am also looking at the congregation but it is quite a bit different than it was last Monday evening. When I preach, my mind is also keeping in order the points I’m trying to make so I really am not concentrating on the faces of those who are sitting before me. A week ago, I was able to truly multitask and see people as I heard the message. It was kind of fun.
What did I see? I saw a lot serious concentration going on. Men and women who wanted to hear the Word of God and how it applied to them. I saw some individuals staring off into space. I’m sure they were dealing with concerns that just would not let go of them even in God’s House.
I saw parents coping with children. We had two adorable toddlers at our conference and they required much attention from mom and dad. That’s all right. That’s the role the Lord sets before us with children and I know parents get very frustrated in church because they feel they get nothing out of the service since their lovely child or children demand so much of their time but I know they are getting and giving so much by sharing an example of how important it is to be with the Lord to their children. That is a picture that will last a lifetime. That’s a sacrifice worth making for your child.
I saw some contented looks on folks. Were their lives completely without concern? Of course not, but they knew they had come to the right place and they could bring all their troubles and fears to God because He knew exactly what to do with them.
I even saw a couple of pastors who fell asleep. Now, doesn’t that make you feel better? The sanctuary was warm, the building was quiet, apparently the pews were comfortable enough to invite them to be relaxed to the point where their eyelids could close and sleep commenced. I would like to believe they didn’t have a care in the world because they knew their Heavenly Father was watching over them. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
It was a good view of God’s people hearing His Word, taking His Word to heart, and being prepared for the world in which they live. That’s why we come to worship. It’s a good perspective.