Good Friday Service, Apr3 – #111

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Good Friday Service, Apr3
Well, if that wasn’t a spirit-led trip to a Good Friday Service, I don’t know what would be! I got lost coming home and I’m sitting in another God-led destination, a Veterans Cemetery, to write this, here, on Good Friday, with hundreds of gravestones… families stopping by with flowers… so sad what we’ve lost in death… oh but so blessed what we gained to live in America… by the lives of these soldiers… Just the image of the perfectly lined up gravestones – wow – powerful beyond words…

What was lost in Jesus’ death but oh, what we gained by that death and resurrection – wow – powerful beyond words…

It’s raining today, so not good for a cross walk in my own community, so I saw a good opportunity to hop up to a Good Friday service at another church, where my new faith penpal friend was preaching… Always wanted to meet him in person, so I thought “today is the day!”…

Wow, awesome doesn’t even describe it… read to the bottom of this piece and you will see why… Why I am so blessed? I have no clue… Why God tinkers with me? I don’t know… God’s got a plan though… this I know… and I know I’m just along for the ride….

Of course, his sermon was amazing as I expected, but I was more impressed with the amazing spirit running through the people there, they were hands up, young and old, praising in a feedback way with huge “Amens!”… thru the whole service, the music the liturgy, and I told him that I can see where he gets his Holy Spirit energy from… it’s from these people who really are absorbing it and bouncing it right back to him! Someone asked me if I was a visitor, but instead of saying “I don’t recognize you”, they said “Will you be joining us on Easter?” Now there, my friends, is a welcoming church. A nice way to welcome unknown people…

And the sermon, about the Power of the Cross  – that mirrored the love I saw, the love we should all spread each day…

“Receive forgiveness
Serve Inexplicably
Speak graciously
Forgive immediately
Reach out enthusiastically”

“The Power of the Cross is not to cleanse your sins, but to give you the power to LOVE…” – to love people who are different just like people who are the same as you.

No worries, I’m not leaving my church for this one, I love my church family, it’s where God put me for a reason… where God put me in leadership roles, did some awesome corrective action on me and said “Let’s Go!”. I do, however, see this as a challenge… for me to do everything in my power to get my church up and spirit-led like this church. If you build it, and fill it with spirit, they will come… just like in the movie.

But here’s the kicker for the day…. About whom is mentioned in this Pastor’s sermon…. Of COURSE, I expected a cool sermon from him, actually a HOT one, because if he isn’t a soul on fire I don’t know who is! I have been listening to a couple of his sermons from his church website, yeah he is super ON FIRE… filled with the Holy Spirit, moved by the Holy Spirit, and handing it out free of charge. He is a fellow alumnus from my small undergraduate institution – and I feel like a mother saying I’m so proud of him, but I am really, really proud of him. And he’s one of those people that God put in my path to help me with my spiritual growth, not with his new book, but with a piece of factual information about the canonization of the Bible that was embedded deep in his website, and of course, God led me right to it. So, it WAS exciting to see the excitement on his face when he recognized me in line for communion and said “You know who I was talking about in my sermon today right?” Well of course I did!!! No, it wasn’t me, but when he started out by talking about going late to a Dunkin Donuts to meet up with someone from another church, to try to sync up their men’s ministries together, I said “Holy Spirit!!!” He’s talking about someone i knew !!!!!”
And the crux of the whole sermon was the fact that the pastor was so late to their meeting together, and he felt so so bad… and expected the worst, but here the other guy greeted him with a smile and “it’s so nice to see you” and gave him the Grace of forgiveness from God… then the next day he gave that Grace of forgiveness right back to someone else… 300 plus people in this audience were moved by this story… About the power of giving forgiveness given… I smiled and smiled and smiled. Wow, Holy Spirit! God I knew YOU know me, but whew…

God, you remind me EVERYDAY how blessed I am… You picked my alma mater, my Subaru… you picked this sermonist pen-pal for me, you picked me to come today to this sermon, you picked me to go to my church last night, with only five hours sleep in two days, for a spirit-filled service, which I was called into duty for to run the PowerPoint to facilitate the spirit flowing and you certainly picked me as object lessons for your Divine love…. whew…

Where are we going from here, God? Only God knows…

I Trust You, God, 100%.

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