Monday, February 1, 2010

Reign of God

Yesterday was a Reign of God day.

After hearing some people (appropriately) comment on worship leaders who could be more confident and practiced. For those of you from non-lectionary traditions, the first reading yesterday was Jeremiah saying "but I'm only a boy". To hear young Maxwell (age 7) follow the above phrase with God's words "do not say you are only a boy" was to see the Reign of God breaking into worship.

We had a guest musician at worship yesterday. James Hersch was in town, playing music at children's hospital and a nursing home, and took some folks from our congregation along. He played a concert at HLLC Saturday night, and then played a few songs in worship yesterday morning. But the Reign of God moment came in between services. James has lots of songs, and often gets requests from people ... and he can usually predict which people will request which songs. But yesterday, Lori (age 5?) surprised him with her request. And then she surprised all of us. As he was singing the chorus, James noticed Lori's mouth moving, singing quietly, almost under her breath. So James brings his voice down, and as if on cue, Lori's voice comes up. The next time through the chorus, James stops singing altogether, and as Lori sings by herself with a full voice that I could hear all the way across the room, we heard the Reign of God breaking into the room.

After worship, we had our annual congregational meeting. Some were worried, because (though is wasn't on the agenda), there was the potential that some members might bring up the recent ELCA decisions about human sexuality. Indeed, the topic was brought up, and the congregation had a conversation that could have become painful. But I think folks were able to hear each other, were able to express their pain and confusion, and were able to respect one another. The congregation decided to not vote at all (according to Robert and his rules, we tabled the motion). And in deciding to continue to be community together even when we disagree, the Reign of God even broke into a congregational meeting.

Then, following my typical practice, I went with our offspring to worship with the community my wife leads as their pastor. Worship was good, as usual. Something was unusual, though. Special musical guests were in town, and played an amazing piece of music while I was sitting on the floor with my own daughter playing with a very small child ... you know, the kind of child who's old enough to do stuff, but not quite old enough to walk. The Reign of God got up right there, with the music and the toddler and my daughter and passed right through our midst.

Maybe it was a good day.


  1. Sounds to me like it was a pretty good day, especially when other youth, at that same meeting, had the intelligence to question why some decisions were in question. I love seeing these glimpses of God in the young.

  2. We can learn so much from the young. We should listen and watch more.

  3. I did get a kick out of Kara saying that she didn't understand why we continue to discuss the subject of money that we don't have to spend.

    I wish I had seen Lori...better yet, put it on YouTube.

    Seems like Christ passed through the midst a lot on Sunday ;-)