Yesterday, I had an amazing experience at my church. We had a big snow storm, and the attendance for Sunday morning worship was extremely small. My church usually averages about 170 in worship. Due to the storm, we had 45 people in attendance. I modified the structure of the service just a little bit, but for the most part, I was determined that we would not drop in our quality of worship due to our poor attendance.
What happened that morning was incredible. We had a few visitors and I was able to teach instead of preach. We discussed the passage from Luke 2:41-52. It is the story about Mary and Joseph losing Jesus, only to find him in the temple. I invited everyone to ask questions of the text.
At first, everyone was a bit apprehensive about sharing. I continued to encourage further questioning of the text. Enter the story without fear. My goal was to allow them to truly use the text as a living and breathing document, powerful enough to hold the toughest of questions. I further explained that it was not enough to open our Bibles and finger point and proof text until we find what we were looking for. We had to enter the sacred writings with the hope and expectation that we can and will be changed if we truly seek divine revelation as found in our holy scripts.
When we left Sunday morning, there was an incredible appreciation that we simply did not throw away the service, but we actually grew together as a community of believers. God was revealed to us in a very powerful and exciting way. And to think, it all started with a snow storm. How amazing is our God that our Creator’s voice could be heard in the deepest part of winter (Sounds kind of Christmasy, don’t you think?).
Praise be to God that the Holy Mystery is constantly revealed to us. We only have to be still and allow the Divine to enter into the deepest recesses of our souls. Holy listening can be done in the bleakest of times, if only we are still enough to listen. It is our choice as to how available we are to the message of God.
So, getting back to the title, I will cherish this wonderful time with those who braved the elements. I will hold our time close to my heart as I feel that God revealed God’s self in a very special way. I stand amazed and in awe of the special moments when divine revelation transcends what was to be a typical Sunday service. These are times that are holy and set apart and to which I hold tight. This is what it means to cherish each moment.