I have a Life Group gathering this afternoon. One of the questions that we ask each other is always: "what was your God-moment this past week?" This is mine:
I had the honor to fill the pulpit this morning as a supply preacher, so that the pastor could have time with her distant family. I typically do not type out my sermons, but instead jot down notes to keep my mind from straying too far off track. Nor do I usually practice sermons. My theory has been that I want to leave room for the working of the Spirit. This week however, I typed out my sermon and I practiced my sermon on Jeremiah 29, God's letter from home to the exiles. During my preparation, I had became so passionate about the message to us today during these trying times that I wanted to be sure to use every gem I had drafted. This morning, before dawn, I awoke in a panic - I hadn't even thought about the children's message! Again.
When the time came, I lamely asked the youth if they had ever been homesick, and to remember how good it felt to get a letter from home (as soon as it came out of my mouth I thought: "a letter?, do they even know what a letter is?") or a care-package. Full of grace, the children responded beyond expectation and saved me, but I was glad when it was over so I could get to the main event, the "real" message!
As I preached, I every so often noticed a woman sitting attentively, all alone, in the back pew. After the service, I made my way down the aisle through the sanctuary, accepting compliments on my message and my passion. As I reached the last row, the woman stepped forward to stop me. I saw that she was gently crying, and wondered what part of my meticulously written and dramatically presented sermon had moved her so? "I was struck so by what you told the children that I am running straight out to buy things for care packages for students and others who are away."
God is not always were I expect him, but he is always there! Immanuel y'all, Immanuel...