Being Caretaker of a small village church in Ghana means that I don't often attend a worship service "just being part of the congregation." I am always busy...making sure things get done (which, they usually have been done.) I preach. Sometimes, on a Sunday morning, I will also teach Sunday School. Then, there are all of those books in which we keep church records...attendance by age and sex, collection, special collection...are people interested in a Baptism class? A visitor two might happen before I ride my motorcycle home. Even when the pastor comes to preach and to give communion, it is a busy day for me. So, even though I am able to see God work in many ways before, during, and after the service, I don't often personally feel the renewal of my spirit after a time of morning worship in Kalsagri. It is hard work! I guess that is where personal devotion time steps in to meet that need.
Anyway, while in the States this fall, I have been attending worship at a variety of Methodist churches. And, what I discovered is something I already knew. HE LOVES ME. I could put the "He" in a bold font, because the Lord God almighty, maker of the universe loves me. Or, I could put the "loves" in a bold font because that one supreme God, sent His Son to earth to live as a human being and teach me the Father's love...and to die an ugly death on the cross so that I could be in Heaven with Him, face to face one day. Or I could put "me" in a bold print because, even if I were the only person on earth, He would still do everything possible, everything needed so that one day I could be rejoicing in His kingdom.
The first four Sundays I was in Pennsylvania, I went to four different United Methodist churches. Each one of them celebrated the Lord's Supper on the Sunday I was there. It was almost too good to be true...to "just be part of the congregation," to worship, pray, listen to the message, and then to receive communion and meditate on the love of God. Ahhh! Balm for the soul.
Last Sunday, I attended Glenwood UMC. It was a communion Sunday. I went up front with everyone else to receive the elements...and as I ate the bread and drank the fruit of the vine, tears formed in my eyes. HE LOVES ME!