(It's about time...it's Tuesday already...)
The past few weeks we've had a homeless fellow worshipping with us at NHC. In some locales, especially in urban churches that might not be unusual. But we really don't have many homeless here (I know of two), so for us it's a "new" experience. He shows up early, parks his bike and the "trailer" with his belongings out by our picnic table, gets out his Bible and enjoys a cup of coffee before the gathering begins.
A couple of weeks ago he made the comment to me that "This is where God wants me right now". I have no argument with that. So I'm watching from a distance to see how he is received by the flock. James 2:1-13 is the background support for my observations. I'm looking to see if grace, mercy and hospitality is being shown across the board.
Sunday's message from Numbers 11 perked up a lot of ears. Who among us hasn't complained to God about how life is going? I gave these three points from the stories there on how to avoid being a whiner:
1. Learn to be content.
2. Listen to godly influencers.
3. Lift one another's burdens.
At the 11AM Gathering something else got our attention! Just as I was talking about God's anger about their whining and His response to it, suddenly it thundered. Eyes (including mine) got big! Hello! It couldn't have happened at a better moment.
It was a great worship morning. But I think the 9:00 crowd needs to either get up a bit earlier or be sure they get tanked up on caffeine! It took them a while to loosen up.
I was glad to see a pastor friend and his wife from another community worshipping with us on vacation. They've been through some rough waters at their church (it's full of Eds and Ediths), but they're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. He came up to me afterward and gave me a big hug. He was "blessed" he said to have been there.
I hope we all were.