Reflections from worship service at Eden Mennonite Church, January 12, 2014
We “lost it” in church today. Pastor Dave spoke from Luke 15: 1-10, “The parable of the lost sheep and the parable of the lost coin.”
First of all, we had child dedication of a third and fourth grader. They stood before the congregation with their dad who first rededicated himself to the Lord, a commitment to live a Christ-like life as a caring, devoted father. Now, I don’t recall a re-dedication in our church before. And our church is 119 years old.
Then the boys were dedicated before God and the faith community. Now it’s usually infants that are dedicated so having school-age boys brought before us by their dad was a new picture of child dedication. When Pastor Dave invited us to prayer, dad took the hands of his sons and they bowed their heads. As the family returned to their seats, the congregation applauded. The next order of worship was the choir. Their song so graciously affirmed the dedication, “On eagle’s wings.” These words were, to me, especially appropriate. And He will lift you up on eagle’s wings… and hold you in the palm of His hand.” What a vivid reminder of God’s presence and providence for all who are dedicated to God and faithful to the call.
The congregational song that followed the scripture reading was and African song, “Sizohamba naye (We will walk with God).” In the bulletin, one read: congregation with dancing option. What? Dancing in the church? In this 119 year-old- church? The dance was even choreographed by the pastor. High school students and older gathered at the front of the church to form two circles and dance to the song. A second opportunity for dance appeared as this song was the sending song after the blessing. Some of the same folks came up and a few more joined to dance.
So, yeah. It appeared we “lost it” in church. Just what did we lose?
… the stifling tradition that would dictate how children should be dedicated.
… the grip of clichés like, “We’ve never done that [rededication] here before.”
… the judgmental chains that bind the Holy Spirit.
And in the losing, the Holy Spirit was found. The Holy Spirit moved and breathed among us. In this presence, there was a heightened energy of praise. God is walking with us in the newness of life (the sermon title). Thanks, Pastor Dave Stevens, Rebecca Clark and journeyers at Eden Mennonite Church.