Spiritual Boldness (Visiting Church #26)
We know nothing about this minority church besides their name, location, and service time. When the service begins, words are displayed overhead while we sing along with recorded music. Many people raise their arms in praise to God. The worship occurs organically, so naturally that I don’t realize there isn’t a song leader.
As we sing, people shake tambourines with vigor, underscoring key words and phrases in the songs. This accentuates our worship. Involving the crowd transitions them from audience to participants.
We witness a baby dedication. The pastor’s prayer is passionate as he proclaims protection and favor over the child. He doesn’t say this as a request, but as a declaration. I appreciate his spiritual boldness.
Throughout the service, the minister continues to pronounce blessings. We see it next in celebrating October birthdays, with each celebrant receiving his or her own blessing. We extend our hands, nodding and voicing affirmation, as the minister places his hand on the head of each one and prays.
After the message, the service ends with another blessing, powerfully proclaimed on us and our schools, work, city, and county. As we leave, the minister thanks us for visiting, invites us back, and asks where we live. He’s dismayed to learn we live across the county line, an area his blessings didn’t cover. I assure him we’re not offended, but he takes our hands, proclaiming abundance and prosperity for where we live.
His message has given me much to think about; his bold prayers, an example to follow; and their worship of God, an inspiration.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.