I gather my notes and try to clear my head and prepare myself for my morning message. The Fall Revival starts this morning and I am a little nervous about leading my first revival. I have prayed all week for God’s guidance on my messages, probably more then ever before. I know that sounds bad, but I have prayed continuously about this revival, since the elders gave me the go ahead three months ago.
With my additional preparation, sleep for the past month has been limited. I rub my sleepy, dry eyes as I look over my sermon notes and think of the many times my father has gone through the same thing. My father preached for forty-eight years before he went to paradise to be with the Lord. I have such fond memories of the many revivals that I sat through as a kid. To me those revivals always seemed to be a miraculous time. I think back at the many people who walked up the aisle and gave their life freely to Christ. The music was always grand and I could never forget all those potluck dinners.
I bow my head in prayer resting my head on my folded hands, “Father God, I ask that you be with me today guiding me through your Word. Let your Word nourish your flock at this little country church. Your will be done Lord …
“Sorry, about the interruption pastor, I did not know you were praying. It is almost time to start the service,” Deacon Rogers proudly said. “I can not believe how many people have shown up this morning.”
I stood and walked out the door of my classroom, stopping long enough to shake Deacon Rogers’ hand. Immediately I heard the buzz of people talking in the sanctuary. The buzz I heard was not the everyday Sunday buzz of about 60 people, but it was a buzz of a country church filled to its rafters with people.
With great astonishment, I walked into the sanctuary and the music started to play. Our organist had picked an arrangement of “old time” church songs. Today the music sounded like how I would imagine the music in heaven would sound. I could almost hear the angels accompanying the organist with their harps. As I walked to the pulpit, my eyes filled with tears. I could not stop thinking about my father and his many revivals.
I survey the fall decorations that the ladies of the church had put so much time into this week. Looking around at the beautifully decorated sanctuary reminded me of the fall revivals my father would do. The bountiful baskets of fruits and vegetables that graced the décor showed the blessing of our Heavenly Father.
The lump in my throat continued to grow. I was choking back emotion as I started to speak. The church had never looked so beautiful, and with God’s miraculous work, it had never been so full. For a moment, I was awe struck by the shining faces that stared back at me as I began to speak. I was permitting my emotions to be wrapped into the beauty of my surroundings. Everything around me was just more brilliant. The music from that old organ was strong and loud. The lighting of the church was bright and had special warmth.
“Today,” I began as calmness as I have never felt took over filled my body, “Let us rejoice in the day that the Lord has made!”
Unbelievably the crowded church stood and started praising God. Worship like I have never experienced. What has this church done that God has blessed us so miraculously? As I watch, I feel the Spirit fill me fully. I hope this never ends I think as I feel a pair of hands touching my shoulders.
“I am so sorry for your lose Kathy,” Henry said, “I will miss Michael terribly. And I am sorry that he did not get to do his fall revival. He had worked so hard on everything.”
“Thank you Henry, I know he was looking forward to that revival, but God needed him to come home. Maybe God wanted him to do a revival in paradise.” Kathy said as tears ran down her face as she looked towards her husband’s casket.
As I turned to see who was standing behind me, I fell to my knees as I saw the face of Jesus.
“Welcome home my child, welcome to paradise.”
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