This morning our church that has three services to accommodate the congregation in our facility became "One Church . ..In One Place . . .On One Day". What a fantastic time we had. As I sat there watching the crowd congregate in the stadium I was reminded of church picnics when I was little.
The focus then was to celebrate the summer and enjoy an outdoor service with the promise of a massive picnic provided by every family and then an afternoon of games with our church friends. Remember trying to make sure you got your own mom's potato salad or your best friends mom's cake that you loved?
On one occasion I received a black eye in an ill derived plan of leading your blindfolded partner passing by the team coming from the opposite direction with the goal of making it to the opposite side before the opposite team makes it to yours. If you're thinking to yourself that you can't make heads or tails out of my race description, I can't say I blame you, even now, the rules are a bit sketchy in my recollection. I recall the Sunday School leaders looking at each other wondering who's bright idea that race had been. No . . ..church picnics in our parts have taken on a whole new focus.
As I waited for the service to begin, I thought of you. It was easy to do, the beautiful scenery in the background and the welcoming worship songs led me to pray for all of you that need a special touch from the Lord. It was amazing how many of your names came to mind.
I thought about how unbelievably blessed we are to live in a country that allows freedom to worship Jesus. If you read this post from a country that also allows freedom to have church picnics and services in the open . . .you are blessed as well.
We not only had the opportunity to see folks that go to other services we also found ourselves being challenged to take our faith seriously. The theme this year was "Bourne Again Ultimatum ". . .(they always enjoy doing a bit of a spoof on current culture).
I speak fairly freely of my faith in Jesus on this blog and it has always been my goal to live this out in my everyday life. I once again found myself searching my own heart and my motives seeking to be sure that my priorities for daily living are right where they should be. I am humbled by the number of readers everyday that find their way to visit me.
If I saw you in the mall or down the way . . .would I be real and consistent with what I say? It seemed like pretty heavy stuff to think of on a beautiful church picnic day. (sometimes I need to think of heavy things . .even on a gorgeous day) As we sang "Crown Him . .crown Him . ." my heart pounded with the desire to do just that. (click HERE to hear a sample of the singing.
After the service was over we were treated to a church picnic 2007 style. Wraps made by the Bread Garden. I just love it. Show up, sit in the sunshine, visit with friends and folks all around, and then line up to eat a free wrap all the while listening to fantastic bands . . .
If you don't have a place to join in on a church picnic . . ..start looking .. . we all need a place to belong, I found mine.
Enjoy the rest of the afternoon, I'm heading to the oven to take out a blackberry dessert.