Monday, April 25, 2011
Have you ever received a surprise gift from someone that just came out of nowhere? I get to be the recipient of those sometimes. My office is full of pictures our children have done for me, cards that have come at times I least expect them, a call, a story here and there, a thanks related to something that was of not much consequence to me but meant something special to someone else. I was meeting with the Monday morning prayer group a few weeks ago and we were going through the prayer request cards. Bitsy was reading them and as she did she said here is one that wants us to pray for our pastor. I did a double take. They want to pray for who? It was authored by one of our kids. It just caught me so off guard. And yet, it came at a time when I desperately needed to know that someone, somewhere was praying for me! I got a little emotional as I thought about the sensitivity of one of our children who thought that our congregation needed to be praying for their pastor. I still get somewhat awed by the whole thing. I am not really sure why. But that day I first heard it was a graceful surprise!
It just meant so very much to me.
This past Sunday was one of those graceful surprises too! It was such a powerful day as over 500 people came together to celebrate the resurrection work of God in Jesus Christ our Lord! What made it most memorable for me was the parade at the end led by our children. I will never forget Jon Kendall and Dan Westbrook holding the ends of that banner announcing the resurrection of our Lord followed by all the children at children’s church waving their own home made banners praising God for the resurrection of our Lord! It was so celebratory and joyful! The youth and everyone just jumped on in and followed the children led parade out of the doors of the sanctuary and into the world to share the good news of Easter! When I joined in the parade I was just smiling from ear to ear. I didn’t want to walk outside, I wanted to run outside.
And then if all of that was not enough, as I exited the sanctuary, I looked up and there were two of my former kids from the Methodist Children’s Home standing there and one of their girlfriends who I have come to know and love. I hugged those kids and we all went to lunch together. We then went to the house and remembered all the great times we shared together at the Home and how present God’s grace was in all of it. As I visited with those kids I thought about the theme of the day, resurrection! As those young men now filled me in on their lives and how great they were doing I just sat there in my living room overwhelmed with yet another graceful surprise!
I know all about the reality of resurrections! Two of them visited my home this past Sunday!! How appropriate it was Easter!! Jesus has risen indeed and because he has so can you and I and everyone else! Now that is the best graceful surprise there is!!! Hallelujah!!!!
I will see on the road, (who knows what lies ahead!)