Since we were on vacation for a Sunday, we got to do something unusual in our lives - go to church as a family. Normally Sunday morning means rushing around, making sure that everything is ready, making sure Sierra is fed and ready to go to Sunday School, having a sermon prepared, etc. But four times a year we get to find a church and just worship together. What a blessing that is.
So last night we went through the yellow pages, and found out that the only ELCA church in the area was nearly an hour away from where we were staying, so we decided to try something else. We went to a Methodist church only 25 minutes from our place. The service we went to was at 9:45 (don't worry, there is no sleeping in with a 3 year old, so we were up at 6:25:). The 9:45 service was their contemporary service, and we thought that would be fun.
We got there early, so that we could find our way and check the church out a little in advance. One thing I noticed is a number of people said hello, but few helped us find our way around. We did finally make it to the sanctuary, found a "busy bag" for Sierra, and settled in. As soon as the music started, Sierra grabbed her ears and cried - its too loud. For the majority of the service we had to hold her and try to sing.
The sermon was very good, most of the music was new to me, but fairly easy to sing, but one thing was missing - communion. The Methodist church doesn't celebrate communion as often as we do - only a few times a year, I believe, and I really missed that part of the service. It is amazing how powerful communion is and how much I miss it when I don't get to partake of that holy meal.
It is always good to visit other churches, other denominations, and worship with them and learn from them. The body of Christ is so much bigger than a single congregation or even a denomination. It all goes back to how we are all wired so differently, and God uses us in different ways to reach different people.
It is also always a blessing when I get to worship with my family. Family times is always important, and worshipping together helps us to grow with each other, even if that means holding a child while she complains about the loud drum in the corner.
We will be flying back on Tuesday, so tomorrow we move to a hotel near the airport, since we have a 6:00 am flight on Tuesday. This has been a nice break, a good chance for Jennifer and I to reconnect, and has recharged me somewhat, so that I can come back with a fresh perspective and be ready to get started once again.
In my prayers today I am being called to pray for the diversity we have in this great body of Christ, and that we may continue to celebrate each others gifts and grow in our love and understanding of those who are different than we are.