In last month’s church newsletter, I wrote about encouraging people to share where and how they have seen God at work – His presence and activity – in order that our faith community would be strengthened and we would be drawn into deeper praise and worship of Him. I wrote, “I am asking you if you would be willing to share how you have seen God at work recently. This could be something He has shown you, taught you, or reminded you. This could be something you have seen Him do in a situation or circumstance. Maybe it was an answer to prayer.”
To say that the response to this call has been underwhelming would be inaccurate. The response has been non-existent. This reality has caused me to consider the reasons why this has been the case. I know that it isn’t because God isn’t active, present, and working. Was it because people were disinterested or just didn’t care? I don’t believe this to be the reason either because I know better. So what, then, could it be? I believe the reason was revealed to me during worship this past Sunday (May 24th).
During that worship gathering, I gave opportunities for those present to share how they had seen God recently. Now, I realize that I sprung this on people, so maybe it should not have been surprising that the first opportunity had no one willing to share, so I did. It was during the second opportunity that I realized what was occurring. I got the sense that people were unsure of sharing because, for some reason, they were concerned that what was shared might be deemed as not being “spiritual enough.”
LaVonne Keyser broke the ice.
During the offering, which was when I gave the second opportunity, I ask if someone would like to share how s/he had recently experienced the generosity of our God. And just like that first opportunity, for the first minute or so, no one spoke until LaVonne (our resident Tupperware dealer) said, “Well, I had a good day in sales yesterday.” Exactly! God has been providing for LaVonne through her Tupperware business for many years now. Why wouldn’t He show His generosity through giving her a good sales day? That’s God’s activity. Let’s recognize it for what it is, share it, and praise God for it!
Immediately, Mary Jo Laupp shared how God was generous to her in a different way through a friend, who happens to be a pastor of a different church in our region, generously sharing kind and encouraging words to her via a Facebook message. That was God demonstrating His generosity in a different way. Let’s recognize it for what it is, share it, and praise God for it!
Later in the gathering, Denny Hunter shared how God was using him to impact his neighbors by doing something as simple as mowing their grass when, due to circumstances, they had no resources to do so. That was God sharing His goodness, love, and concern for people through Denny. Let’s recognize it for what it is, share it, and praise God for it!
We celebrate what God did in the past through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, as we should. But imagine how actually personally experiencing Jesus’ resurrection (God’s work, presence, and activity) impacted the worship and praise and spirit of His followers. It intensified it because they had witnessed God’s activity, presence, and working.
We must remember that God isn’t just the God of yesteryear or of the future; He is also the God of today. He is still at work, present, and active. And just like the intensity of Jesus’ followers worship and praise increased because of actually witnessing God’s work, presence, and activity, when we witness God’s work, presence, and activity, it should increase our worship/praise intensity. And then when we share that with the rest of the church, the rest of the church can also experience that increased intensity.
In our worship gatherings throughout this summer, there will be opportunities for people to share what they have seen and experienced of God’s work, presence, and activity. So, be looking and be ready to share.
Because we have an AWESOME God,