I am blogging to you from Richmond, Va, where I am visiting family and friends for the Christmas holidays. I am also blogging in the middle of a fresh layer of snow. It’s always so beautiful, unless it traps you and you go bonkers. Then it’s not so beautiful. 🙂
Today is the first day of Christmastide. It’s twelve days of celebrating the birthday of the precious child, Jesus. As my day began in worship, I wondered about the twelve days and how best to celebrate. I decided that it would be wonderful to reflect on specific times over this past year that God has been present in my life. Yes, God is present at all times, however these were gifts of moments that surprised me, shocked me, or even embarrassed me. You will see in my previous post that I reflected on the “pure joy” that I felt over the year. Now, I want to say thank you to God for twelve specifics moments that God made happen – even those time that I didn’t know of God’s presence, until it was all said and done.
Day One – Worshiping at First Baptist in Richmond.
The “snow” (all three inches of it) didn’t keep me away from worshiping at the wonderful First Baptist Church in Richmond. It’s the most recent moment that I want to say thank you to God and to a few others. You see, I wasn’t going to go to church this morning. It was a chance to rest and “be lazy” after such a busy Christmas day. And on top of that, it was a Sunday that I could sleep in. As a pastor, you are expected to be up every Sunday morning, in your holy best and expected to have a clear mind for every possible thing to happen. So when a pastor has a day off, they want a day off. I do too, but for me, it’s a little different.
I still love to worship on Sundays. I enjoy being around folks who want to worship, sing, pray, say ‘Good Morning’, be in the moment and let the Spirit guide you to a holy place, all of which is for God. What’s great about days like today is that I can completely let go and be in the moment. I can clear my head and heart of any leadership and responsibility and be in the moment of wherever God thinks I need to go for myself. That happened today at FBC Richmond. The prelude was a lovely collection of Christmas pieces. The hymns included one of my favorites, “What Child is This?” I heard a comforting prayer from Ralph Starling. I got two great big pastoral hugs from my friends Steve Booth and Jim Somerville. I heard some Godly needed words, benediction, and support from Jim. Then the morning was capped off with a nice visit with Steve. It was a great morning. It was a great moment. And it was just what I needed.
Day One – thank you God for being present, even when I hesitated at first…you nudged me to go. Thank you.