As Barbara played the last bar of "God so Loved the World" Pastor Dan Overduin placed the communion tray back on the table and invited us to partake together. It is an uncanny phenomenon how she manages to play meditative music for the Lord's Supper, and time it so that it takes up exactly the amount of time it takes the elders to distribute the elements. My heart was blessed this Lord's Day by every part of the worship service. God was in it! Pastor Dan masterfully and faithfully preached Christ from Daniel 6. The cute junior choir sang quite well with the adult choir, reminding us of God's promise to be with us in trials from the text of Isaiah 43. Barbara's music reminded us all that "Jesus Paid It All" as we contemplated the bread. And when she played Stainer's composition of "God So Loved the World" as we looked to the cup which is the new covenant in the blood of Jesus, my eyes brimmed with tears as I thought of how our Savior loves the souls of people.
I couldn't help thinking back to my first church in Neptune, New Jersey, in the early 1960s. We were invited to take part in the 3 hour Good Friday service at the OPC in Westfield, N.J. I preached on the saying from the cross, "Son behold your mother." And our little Good Shepherd Chapel group had formed a choir just for the event. Each segment had a different preacher and a presentation of special music. We had fully rehearsed all right, but we were not a journeyman choir by any means. On this one day, however, we all sang well above our normal abilities, and the anthem blessed many a heart--including my own! Well I experienced a flashback this morning.
I don't need clever, joke-telling, gimmicky preaching. In fact that stuff leaves me cold. I need to see Jesus when I hear the Bible preached, and I usually do when my pastor mounts the pulpit. Today I saw my Jesus all through the service, and I am still praising God for it. What a blessed sabbath!