I recognized the piano prelude tune that goes with the words “lives within my heart” and imagined people on a ‘normal’ Sunday sidestepping into the pews and greeting others nearby.
But these aren’t exactly normal times and this wasn’t really that kind of a worship service.
There were a couple of praise music songs with the words projected on the screen complete with colorful cosmic backgrounds. I didn’t know either of them, but on the first one I caught myself swaying my shoulders and snapping my fingers, and on the second one there was a little head bobbing and windowsill percussion.
The sermon was a testimonial. I’m more of a fan of testimonials than I used to be. This was a good one. The gentleman in tinted glasses and an untucked shirt talked about his upbringing as a Catholic, spending some time going to an Episcopal church, and then commenting his mentality was “I don’t really need to go to church because he knows who I am.” But then he found himself being more anxious, a little depressed and slipping into isolation.
The first time he worshiped at Lake City Methodist Church with his family a song lifted his spirit, brought down tears and even now gives him goosebumps. He could still point to the pew where he sat.
After a few days on a physical personal pilgrimage he received a wakeup call loud and clear to do something different with his life. A friend recommended he read Jeremiah 29 verse 11 about plans. An opportunity unexpectedly presented itself and he has now been working with Teen Challenge for a year and a half.
He shared that he used to be a “keep up with the Jones” kind of guy in terms of material goods and now he feels like he might be a Jones for others to keep up with in terms of spiritual wealth. This was for July 22.
Late in the day on July 29, I fast-forwarded through the first part of the new video to the sincere talk by a white haired gentleman who explained the “ABCs” of his faith. First, one has to “admit” they need help, then “believe” — “board the plane” so to speak and finally “commit.”
In the comments, there were viewers from Texas and the UK. They didn’t have to physically get on a plane to be there, but they and others were committed to showing up for their faith in a wonderful way.