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Topic: Rejoicing (11/22/04)
TITLE: Party Time
By Donna J. Shepherd
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“Honey, next Sunday is Family Day. Would you please come with me to church?”
Megan wanted to say, “Oh, brother. They’ll do anything to get people to come to church, won’t they?” but thought better of it. Her grandmother took this whole religion thing seriously.
“I don’t know, Granny. I’m not sure of my plans for the weekend. I have a party to attend Saturday night.”
“It’d sure do this old heart good to see you in church.”
Megan sighed. Granny’s guilt machine worked great – even after a lifetime of use.
She tried to pay attention to the sermon. The best she could tell the preacher talked about something to do with lost sheep, and how God loves His sheep. Love. Does God really love her? She knew she didn’t feel worthy.
Her mind wandered to the night before. Her friend, Todd, coaxed her to come to the corner bar. “Come on,” he'd said. Let’s meet for drinks.” If any of her friends planned a party, they knew to call Megan.
Last night she’d felt out of sorts, not in the partying mood. Since Megan knew she needed to get up early for church, she begged off and for once, stayed home on a Saturday night. Lately the parties had grown stale and hollow. As hollow as her heart.
Finally the preacher concluded the sermon and the pianist began to play and sing “Just as I am and waiting not…”
Megan thought about her life. Why was she waiting? She knew her grandmother and mother had prayed for her since she was a baby.
Was it God who beckoned her now to go forward to the altar? She didn’t plan on this when she agreed to come.
Her feet seemed to move of their own accord. Megan found herself slipping past her Granny and almost running to the front. She knelt at the altar and the pastor knelt beside her and led her in prayer. She asked for forgiveness of her sins, and declared Jesus to be Lord of her life.
It felt like her insides were being scrubbed clean. She hadn’t felt this alive in so long. The Grand Canyon-sized hole in her heart filled with love, peace, and joy. She felt like shouting.
Megan looked up to see the preacher gazing heavenward with a tear-streaked face. “Folks, the angels in heaven are rejoicing around the throne for this one who had been lost and is now found.”
A giggle almost burst forth from Megan. She thought, that sure sounds like a party to me!
By Donna J. Shepherd