Our church did something new today.
To be honest, I'm not sure what the motivation behind it was. What I am positively certain of is that it was incredibly moving, freeing. I rarely cry in public. I did today. And I wasn't the only one. Sniffles and Kleenex were plentiful throughout the sanctuary. It would have been a good day to have a box at the end of each pew. The presence of the Holy Spirit was overwhelming.
Last Sunday an invitation was made to bring something that you do or something that symbolizes something you do that you want to dedicate to God. Something you want to give to him, something you already do that you want to offer as a form of worship. A symbol to lay at the foot of the cross.
Before the final words crossed the announcer's lips, I knew what I had to bring.
I anticipated this all week. This morning arrived and I had my offering ready to go. I didn't know how the morning would go, but I was ready.
Worship began as normal and then the plan was explained. We were invited to worship in a variety of ways. God the ultimate creator and artist inspired and worshiped through painting, singing, dancing, praying, giving. People wrote out offerings and burdens and nailed them to the cross, right where they belong. Two baptisms had been planned, seven took place. People who had been feeling God's gentle nudge took the plunge. Literally. And without having brought a change of clothes. It. was. amazing.
I've thought a lot about time recently. I do a lot of things, most of them intentionally for God's purposes. I am very much a planner, God wired me that way, it's no surprise to him. But if we plan every minute of every day, we leave God no room to lead. I want him to lead me. I need him to lead me.
After the baptisms were over, we sang more praises. Extravagant, moving, tear-filled praises that at times I could only listen to because I was overcome by emotion. My favorite songs lead by incredibly gifted musicians. It was then that I finally mustered up the courage to walk to the front and not just lay my offering at the foot of the cross, but nail my offering to it.
"The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand." ~ Psalm 37:23, 24