“Let us turn to the word of God. Our reading this morning will be from Matthew 25:40.”
The Pastor stood at the pulpit to begin his sermon.
“Whatever you do for the least of these my brother, you do for me” (Matthew 25:40).”
Pastor Larry, a middle aged pastor of a midsized Baptist Church was particularly stuck by that passage. He had been the pastor at First Baptist for over 20 years and had surely read this passage dozens of times. He wasn’t sure why he was experiencing what he was at that moment.
Pastor Larry tried to go forward with the message that he had spent the previous week preparing for. He glanced down at his notes trying to stick to the outline he had prepared for everyone to follow along with. Somehow, the topic sentence followed by the three supporting points that the congregation was to fill in on the back of the bulletin simply was not cutting it. Pastor Larry’s hands actually began to tremble as he pulled his glasses off his face and set them on his notebook.
“I am sorry but I just can’t go on with this sermon. I believe the Holy Spirit has a different sort of plan for this service today and I have to listen to Him.”
There was a quiet chatter among the congregation. In all the twenty years together, this had never happened before and everyone was a bit taken back.
“I need to be real honest with you; I am shaking in my boots right now. I don’t even know what it coming next. I just can not continue preaching about God’s love and helping one another when we are not living it day to day. I know there are people in this church with real needs and…I…I…well…we need to help one another within this body.”
Tears filled the pastor’s eyes and what he did next, no one was expecting.
“Here is what we are going to do. If you have a real, true financial need, I want you to come up to the front here and just kneel down and pray. I want to say to you, if your situation is not desperate, don’t you dare come up here but if it is, don’t you dare stay in your seat.”
Much to many people’s surprise, four couples made their way to the front of church and quietly knelt down and prayed. Then, a single man made his way to the front and then a single mother came forward. They were all on their knees praying to the Lord for help.
Then something amazing happened. Without any prompting, people started getting out of their seats and laying money at the feet of each person across the front. With in a few minutes there were literal piles of money behind each person who had come forward. Then, more people came forward and laid their hands on each of these people and prayed for them.
Pastor Larry stood to the side of the church weeping. It was a beautiful picture of God’s love.
*this is a true story that I experienced in our church just this past year*
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