Sunday, May 1, 2011
Time of Reflection
Forgive me for not posting this past week. I've been wrapped up in listening to, reading about, and praying for the people who's lives were turned upside down by recent tornado's. I don't personally know anyone who lost anything in the storms, but I have several friends who have family and friends who lost everything. As I read, I can't help but be in awe of how some of these families can see the blessings even through something as traumatic as this. Only God's grace can bring comfort during one of life's storms.
This leads me to share our Sunday service with you...our pastor started by abandoning the sermon he prepared and felt moved to put this weeks devastation into perspective and hold a special time of prayer. We started by reading Matthew 24: 36-46, which is an illustration of Christ's return...36"But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. 37"For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. 38"For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40"Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41"Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left. "Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. 43"But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. 44"For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will. 45"Who then is the faithful and sensible slave whom his master put in charge of his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46"Blessed is that slave whom his master finds so doing when he comes.
Pastor then invited a dear friend of ours to share the story of his cousin who thankfully survived the tornado, but their home was literally sucked from above them. After Jason shared his cousins story, which you can read more about here, Pastor Jeff decided to give us a couple of visuals. The first visual he gave us was bringing 10 people to the front of the church. These 10 people represented a portion of Pleasant Grove, Alabama (where Jason and Jackie's family live), but he asked 2 to return to their seat. Those two represented the 20% of the community that perished. Then he asked 4 more to take their seat and they represented the 40% who lost everything but their lives. Finally he asked the rest to take their seat. You see, no one was left standing because everyone in the community was affected by the devastation. Since Pastor Jeff was on a roll with visuals, he invited another group of 10 to come to the front of the church. This time using some statistics, he asked 6 folks to return to their seats. Those 6 represented the 60% of our country who don't know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. That was shocking to me! The 4 left standing represented the 40% of Americans who know Christ! I want to ask you to think about this...put those two visual examples together! How many perished not knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? Is something keeping you from sharing the love of Jesus Christ with someone you know and love? Don't wait because you don't know what tomorrow holds!