Sunday, October 01, 2006

Miracles Happen

Yesterday I attended an 80th birthday party along with about 20 other members of the congregation. The birthday "girl" has been attending our church for nearly 20 years, but has said often and emphatically that she would never place her membership there. She felt unloved and unaccepted. It didn't help that several years ago a member, hearing her say this, suggested she might be happier if she attended worship somewhere else.

The miracle happened this morning when I extended the weekly open invitation to become part of the body of Christ in our congregation. This woman, face wreathed with smiles, walked forward and accepted the right hand of Christian fellowship as a full member of the congregation. I've never heard my congregation speak the words of welcome with quite so much vigor and joy. Some were in tears. Everyone made a point of greeting and congratulating her.

She said she finally realized, at her very first birthday party ever, that the people she worships with every single Sunday really do consider her part of the family.

What a little thing it is to attend a birthday party. Who could have predicted that this would have such a profound impact on the life of this woman? Hopefully, as we celebrate and move forward from our Jubilee, we will remember today and reach out to welcome others who feel alone.

1 comment:

Free Flying Spirit said...

Welcome!!! It is good to have you with us.

Birthday's are so very special because they celebrate the fact God made you and are here!

I am always surprised and heart-broken to hear people say no one has ever celebrated their birth day. I cannot understand how that can happen Perhaps circumstances have cut into 'family' in some way and separations, for whatever reason have taken place. I do not know.

When people say things that are hurtful, I wonder if they really understand what they have said. I hear things that make me cringe. I find that things spoken 'under the breath" never are. They are heard. The tongue speaking without the heart/soul checking it first cause more pain.....suffering in others.

Job is on again next Sunday, if you follow the lectionary, and suffering is the topic again. God isn't to blame for what we do/say/think.

I am so happy to know this 'young' woman has finally realized she does belong to this congregation. She now has a church home and family to identify with. She will be a blessing to all as you all will be to her. She has had a new birth day she will never forget.

God does work in mysterious ways, so we can always expect the unexpected for the Spirit flies around, above, below, but especially IN us.

Miracles abound!