This is being a most interesting and uplifting weekend!
At work at the Tennessee State Library and Archives Saturday we got treated to bagels (with spreads) in place of donuts. Yum, yum! And my co-worker Steve suffered a most embarrassing incident. 'Nuf said 'bout that!
The real lifting up came in the evening, when I attended Candlelight worship for Women's Walk to Emmaus #176, in Hermitage UMC. This worship service was conducted somewhat differently from Emmaus community worship I've experienced in the past. Oh, we still prayed for the Walk's Pilgrims and partook of the Lord's Supper. But, for one, we had even more and even more uplifting music and singing this evening, led by the same two musicians who provided the music for Men's Walk #175 two weeks ago. One song we sang was my favorite song I associate with Emmaus: "Here I Am Lord".
I ought to add that when folks from other Emmaus communities introduced themselves, one man stood up and declared that there was a notable number present from Clarksville (as tho' they had gotten together and planned joint attendance and/or were from the same church in C'ville). I kind of doubt that he was aware that Clarksvillians who'd participated in Walk #175 were also present! Not to mention that one of the Pilgrims on #176 is the wife of Clarksvillian and #175 Pilgrim, Bobby Ortt.
The clergyman who led the worship and consecrated the bread and cup for the Lord's Supper gave a meditation beforehand. More than once during this he had us all turn to the person next to us and say something positive and encouraging. Such as "You are forgiven!" or "God loves you; so do I".
As always, the actual candlelight segment of the worship moved and uplifted me. And on the way home to C'ville, even tho' I had the final hour of the late-night Grand Ole Opry show on my Saturn's radio, I was more into mulling over the Candlelight experience I was coming home from. As beautiful Country music provided background I considered God's love and grace as expressed in an Emmaus Candlelight. . . .
Then this morning I attended Sunday School and Worship at Clarksville's First Christian Church (Disciples). And déja vu! The topic of the adult class was love, as defined in I Corinthians 13. Unconditional, other-affirming love, or in Greek, agapé. Then furthermore:
The congregation is in an interim period, since Tom Youngblood just resigned as Pastor to return to his home State ('Bama). The fill-in preacher during his sermon commented about the morning class' topic and directed us all to turn to our neighbors and say, "I love you!" The hymn of commitment which followed the sermon just "happened" to be "Here I Am Lord"!
Wow! I tell you, dear reader, this was a major case of déja vu! But it was very welcome. I mean, you cannot beat Daddy God's love and grace!
Thank you, Jesus!