Leaving is a hard thing to do.
Today is the first Sunday that we visited another church--meaning we have finally made the break from the congregation where we had been attending. I know I've only blogged about this recently, but it's something that has been happening over a period of several years.
E talked to the preacher this week and then we both went and talked to one of the Elder's and his wife. We wanted them to know why we were leaving. We thought that doing that was the right thing to do, rather than just leaving.
It really isn't easy. We leave behind family. We always sit in the same pew with our son and his family. I missed them today. We leave behind friends. One of them called last night and said "We'll see you in the morning!" Well......uh....no, we won't be there. Today was fellowship Sunday--all that good food and fun visisting with people. This has been a long time in coming. A hard decision to make.
But.....the truth is more important than all of that. And feeling like we belong. And that we're useful in the kingdom. And that we're not just warming the pew. And that there is more to worship than just hearing negative things from the pulpit.
So....today we went someplace else. And you know what??? We came away feeling like we had been EDIFIED!!! Now please don't mistake what I am saying....I KNOW it isn't all about me--it's all about GOD! But it can be BOTH! And today it was! I was actually humming today when we left the building!! WOW! That hasn't happened in a long time.
We went where we already know a lot of people. They were very glad to see us. They hope we will come back.
Bible class was good. The elder who taught it came in and listed MANY scriptures on the board. And then he began to speak. It was about "Why we sing". It was very positive. The scriptures were used in a positive way. We sing when we're happy. We sing to teach scriptures. We sing to be full of the SPIRIT!! The teacher didn't go over every scripture he had on the board, but he used several of them to show how important our singing is to our worship and to our relationship with God. People were interested in the class. Discussion ensued. Various points of view were brought out. We didn't feel threatened.
After services this morning, E and I were talking about how the same lesson would have been presented where we had been going. It would have been quite different. We would have heard that you should never use intstruments. (That was mentioned only in passing in the class this morning). We would have heard how there are songs we shouldn't sing because the words are "not scriptural". We would have heard how we shouldn't clap or raise our hands. (Which by the way, I can go with either way. But this teacher didn't even address the issue. It wasn't the time or place. It would have been an important part of the discussion at our old church.)
Then the worship service began. The songs were shown on the overhead. With words AND music. I like that. There was a mix of old and new songs. YEA!!!! And it wasn't just 2 songs and a prayer!!!!! The men who were in charge of the Lord's supper had good and uplifting comments about what we were doing. I was able to focus on taking the bread and the cup. A young man (John T) gave a stirring message before the giving--this was a special time of giving for missions. The sermon continued the subject matter of Bible class. Again in a very positive manner. We were given a loaf of bread after the service was over--with a note welcoming us to the church and stating that their purpose is to share the True Bread of Life!
We went to lunch with friends. We had a great visit.
Emerson commented on the way home that he felt like we were on vacation!!
Tonight we are attending a Life Group from the same congregation. We are looking forward to it!!