Friday, September 28, 2007

"And They'll Know We are Christians by our Love........."

That is the song that ran through my head tonight as I attended revival services at the small church we have been visiting. It has been a while since I have been so moved during church services. The sermons are not awe-inspiring..... they are simple. They still sing the old hymns, not more modern praise and worship music.... But both at Sunday morning services and this week at revival services, I have been moved to tears.

We have been welcomed into the church with warmth and open arms. This week was special because a pastor from out-of-town came to deliver the messages each night..... this after having lost his young brother in a tragic accident two weeks ago. Our church let him know that he didn't have to follow through with his commitment to preach here, but he wanted to come.

Last night, a church member who has had a long battle with cancer came forward in tears at the end of the service, and told the congregation she just found out her cancer was back and had spread. Immediately, the whole church came forward, surrounded her, laid hands on her, and prayed and wept with her..... many stayed even after the service was over, to encourage her and pray.

Then tonight, the guest pastor gave a very sincere sermon on faithfulness and how he had been inspired by this little church. He let us know how therapeutic this week with our church had been and talked of needing prayer for going back and dealing with his grief over his brother. The closing song found just about every one in the church on their knees...... at the alter, in the aisles, in the pews, surrounding the pastor as his tears flowed in mourning. Even the elderly, who could barely walk, were kneeling in prayer, leaning against the pews. I was humbled and moved by their sincerity and compassion.....

Love...... is a verb. And the spirit of God showed up in a little country church in Appalachia, among simple people who want to be faithful to Him.... in the way they know how.

"Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ...."
-Galations 6:2


(Painting by Bryan Morgan)

19 comments:

Rowdy said...

Touching really touching.

Moi said...

yes Blue, very touching...and thats a beautiful painting .....i was reminded of "Thankful Poor" by Henry Tanner ..though they are two very differnt paintings, but everytime i see someone at prayer I am reminded of that one painting...for some strange reason...

photowannabe said...

You brought tears to my eyes with your post. God is so good and places us where we need to be to be fed and share one anothers burdens.
Wish we lived closer, I would love to chat with you.
Sue

bluemountainmama said...

rowdy, thank you...

moi, i looked that painting up and can see why you though of it. once you see something that epitomizes a thing, it is easy to go back to that each time.

sue, yes, it would be nice to talk 'in the flesh' someday. :)

brandy said...

So touching and emotional. It's a great reminder for when we feel the world has left us totally alone. Love is there, if only we reach for it and open our hearts to others.

Thank you.

Lindah said...

Beautiful post. Thanks for sharing.
Blessings.

Kalyan said...

lovely reading your post & isn't it feels nice within ourselves when we bear another's burden...Touching post!

kirsten said...

it is a beautiful thing when the body of Christ IS the body of Christ: hands, feet, shoulders to lean on, and open arms to fall into.

beautiful.

grace & peace, friend ...

ASH said...

A beautiful post, bluemountainmama. You have touched hearts yourself with this story. I have always enjoyed the older hymns, and you have brought several of them to the forefront of my mind now :)

backpakker said...

Very moving and I am reminded of my school hymns..your words - love ...is a verb is so true...

Anonymous said...

This was a very touching post...I nearly BAAAAWW'd my eyes out. Knowing such people disobey Christ is beyond disturbing. Truly.

L.L. Barkat said...

I love how the painting and your words go together, richness both. And I really like that simple statement, "love is a verb."

bluemountainmama said...

anonymous- i appreciate you stopping by, but i am afraid i didn't understand the jist of your comment.... it sounded like you were saying the church members in my post were disobeying christ, i'm a little confused...

Anonymous said...

I would give anything to find a place like that little church. Perhaps I need to look a little harder.

Nothing could be more true bluemountainmomma....love is a verb.

What a wonderful post.

Laurie

bluemountainmama said...

laurie- yes, DO keep looking. i looked for years before i found a church that i felt at home, in my former town. we lucked out, or more aptly,were blessed, to find a good church almost immediately in our new town.

Ash said...

Beautiful post. I loved it!

JAM said...

The Gospel, it's music, and it's people don't have to be complicated.

We have more modern music in our church but our pastor is an old-school simple concepts guy. He takes the difficult passages and simplifies them too, it's amazing.

Sounds like these folks have a handle on things; to show the hurting and the sick love, understanding, and sympathy. It helps just to know you aren't fighting whatever ails you all alone.

Claudia said...

How is that "disobeying Christ"? Where did you even get that? It was nowhere in the post, so it makes no sense at all. I'm all for silliness, but how did disobeying Christ come into the picture?

That's nice art and a nice story. I hope she gets better, cancers are horrible. Just don't give up.

bluemountainmama said...

claudia- thanks for stopping by. i found out the source of the anonymous comment b/c they left a similar comment on a friend's site with a live link to a mormon proselytizing site. i guess they thought they were disobeying christ b/c they are not mormons.....