So you have been missing church

For months quarantine has closed the church doors. We mailed letters and activity sheets to Sunday School students and never saw their responses. We have listened to sermons over the Internet, sung from our lounge chairs and dropped our offering in the mailbox. We have missed fellowship. Fellowship involves personal interaction like I experienced last week in a parking lot.

It began when I collected some old Sunday School literature from my daughter’s church. I offered them free on Facebook. Two women immediately wanted them. I split up the materials and set times to meet.

The first woman drove away just as my daughter sent me a message that I had taken one too many boxes. I had taken her new curriculum.

Oh.

I sent a message to the first woman. We set a time to meet again.

I pulled out the “bring it back” curriculum before I met the second person, the mother of an elementary student, “My daughter misses Sunday School so much. She loves Jesus. She will be so excited to have this. I will pass along what we don’t use,” she said.

I loved hearing that, and I do like gathering unwanted literature and re-homing it. Most of the Christian literature and Bibles I gather goes to Love Packages in Butler, Illinois where materials are shipped to third world countries that speak English. Sometimes I ask locally if anyone needs the materials.

Mary Shutes-Crosby met us on the shady side of the store parking lot.

“I will use these supplies to teach,” she said as she looked at the lesson packets.

“What do you need?” my husband asked. He had just packed our van with 18 boxes of literature for Love Packages.

“Devotionals, Bibles, Sunday School lessons,” she said. “We have to do what we can to teach them the Word.”

He helpfully found some of each and said, “Before you go, I want to tell you about a testimony I heard. I went to a funeral of a man I worked with years ago. He was rough around the edges – not a Christian. I attended his funeral recently. I was astounded to hear the pastor praise his faith. The pastor explained that 10 years ago, his granddaughter had said, ‘Grandpa I want you to be in heaven when I go.’ That touched this man. He became a believer, and his life changed.”

As he pulled another stack of books, my husband said, “That encouraged me. If a grandchild can pray for her grandfather and see God change his life, this grandfather can pray for grandchildren and see God change their lives.”

He turned to close the van door when another vehicle pulled up and Arthur Primm hopped out. Arthur wanted to share a testimony of God’s healing. I first met Arthur many years ago when I interviewed him after Guillain Barre Syndrome paralyzed him. This rare disorder comes, paralyzes and usually recedes. Primm had survived that. Recently cancer invaded his body. He had just had his lab reports and praised God that the numbers were down.

“God is not finished with me yet. I have more to do here.” He smiled broadly. He made sure that I heard how God had blessed him again.

I thanked him for his testimony. As I closed the van door, I realized that for the first time in weeks I had fellowshipped with believers. No sermon, no songs, no Bible reading. Simply sharing God’s impact on us. In time, we will slowly return to organized group Bible studies, songs and sermons. For now we encourage one another as we share our God moments with each other.

About jottingjoan

retired former newspaper writer. Many children and grandchildren. One husband.
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