Have you ever been in a worship service where something other than the preaching has a profound impact on you? I did this morning. Not to say that our Pastor's sermon was not wonderful, because it was; but for me, and some others' judging from the amount of people wiping their eyes, we had one of those moments that we will remember for a long time to come.
Our pastor wears many hats on a Sunday: Sunday School teacher, song leader, announcements, etc. Often times, to break things up a bit, Pastor will call upon a man in the congregation to say the opening prayer. Today he called upon Dave B. Dave is about the age of my parents and is one of the tallest men I have ever met. I could easily walk under his outstretched arm. Dave is a strong man of the faith, one that we have told our children to watch and model his behavior in worship. In recent weeks, Dave has been missing a lot of services due to a bad back. He is in immense pain and has even been using a cane to walk. He entered Sunday school this morning almost right at the end, and with each step he took, you could see the pain written all over his face.
The morning service opened with a rousing rendition of "And Can it Be?" Pastor, as usual called upon someone to open in prayer. He called on Mr. B. As you find yourself doing if you go to church regularly, I immediately bowed my head and waited for the prayer to start. Seconds rolled on. Just when I was starting to think maybe he hadn't heard Pastor, he began in a choked-with-emotion voice: "Lord, thank you so much for allowing us the privilege of being here today...."
I was instantly choked with tears myself, as I thought of the effort and dedication it took for him to be in that pew today. I do not really remember much of the rest of the prayer, but when the "Amen" was spoken, I looked up to see several others wiping their eyes as well. His incredibly sincere love and desire to be in God's house was so evident through the tone of his prayer. What a great reminder to all of us who can so methodically get up on a Sunday morning and just get ready for church. May we never take for granted the privilege of worshiping in God's house.