The family and I have just returned from a brief trip "home" to NW Ohio...Bryan, Ohio specifically. It's not an extremely thrilling trip...in fact, once you hit that part of the state, it's so terribly flat, and nothing but farmlands for miles upon miles. But I often caught myself staring out the window as we drove by reminiscing of days gone by. I grew up in small town Ohio. Not small town suburb like where I live now, but small town - where there's miles of nothing-ness in between towns. It was when my kids got excited at seeing the farm animals that I realized how "suburbia" my life had become. (Mental note to take the kids on a field trip to a working farm this year.)
On this past Sunday, we went to church with my dad...talk about reminiscing. Although it was not the same church that I had grown up in, it was the same denomination, and a definate departure from the church we are part of now.
This was a friendly church - I think we were sincerely greeted by every single person there that morning - all 39 of 'em anyway. Yes, a small house of worship. Sunday School was before the 10:30 service, which we didn't make it to, so the three monkey children were going to be sitting in the service with us. I couldn't wait.
After we shook all 39 hands and said good morning, dad proceeded to parade us into the sanctuary and sat us in the 3rd of 7 rows...of course, nobody sat in front of us. So we were basically in the front...with three children...who aren't used to having to remain quiet, or sitting and listening to a sermon. To pass the few moments I had left before the fun began, I opened my bulletin and started to have flashbacks of my childhood sitting in the Columbia Church of Christ.
A hymn, followed by a prayer, followed by another couple of hymns, communion, offering, another hymn...so far so good. The monkey children behaved themselves fairly well - I think the distraction of the hymn book to look at worked well. Derek was able to read along and sing, and I think I could even hear Jordan trying to belt out a few bars of "Sweet Hour of Prayer".
All in all, monkey children did well. No major problems, issues, or public meltdowns.
When we got back to the car, Mr. D & I looked at each other and immediately shared the same thoughts on the sermon, which was about what needed to happen in the church for God to have the freedom to move. We both got a chuckle out of that considering that my entire life experience with the Church of Christ basically amounts to that they wouldn't have the first clue as to what to do if God should choose to show up in that church! The minister even used Acts 2 as his text that morning. I have NEVER known a church of Christ to be open to experiencing anything like what happened in the early church in Acts 2. Oh well, the minister had his good points - maybe one day...
But it did make me think on my own personal worship. (When I'm allowed to sneak out of the nursery and into service) I grew up in that same uber-conservative Church of Christ atmosphere - which probably explains my hesitancy with the worship level at my present home church. I love the church I'm at now, but I have never been able to get into being an active participant in worship like what is practiced there. It wasn't part of how I was raised. But seeing now where I've come from to where He's placed me now...I am so thankful for that personal level. And if I'm truly thankful, doesn't He deserve to know it? And what better way to show than in active worship lifestyle.
...But I still don't know about that tongues thing.