Thunderstorms Threaten Worship Service

Last Sunday scattered thunderstorms were forecast for the Lewis Center area.  Tom and I returned to the outdoor worship service at Lewis Center United Methodist Church.  But we were a little concerned about the service being rained out or the worship leaders being threatened by lightning.

Of course, Lewis Center was on top of it.  This is a church that is flexible and ready to change to meet the circumstances.  Instead of having worship under the big trees with a small stage, they moved the service so it was under the drop-off roof at the front of the church.  From this drop-off the worship leaders could see out in two directions.

Because of the threatening thunderstorms, most people stayed in their cars.  The ushers were strategically placed to guide the cars into position so everyone could see the worship area.  They even covered the hill with cars – a different kind of theater seating.  They didn’t seem at all concerned about people driving over the beautiful lawn.  Instead, each one of us was warmly greeted by ushers in masks who seemed delighted to be at worship.

The worship service was wonderful – I love being able to worship in person.  A young cellist shared special music and we sang “He Leadeth Me.”  Pastor Phil continued his sermon series on power by talking about the story in Acts 3 where Peter heals a lame beggar.

Although it was a good sermon, I was a little distracted by two ushers who were standing nearby.  As the sermon went on, they started pulling up weeds in some of the flower beds.  At first I reacted in a judgey way – “that’s not what the ushers should do during the sermon.”  But then I started thinking about it.

Every sermon is an effort on the part of the preacher to get people to follow Jesus and leave any sin behind.  In essence, pulling up the weeds of sin from our lives.  This made me ask myself what weeds of sin I needed to work on pulling up this week.

As you can tell, I can get distracted during a sermon and head down a bunny trail as easily as anyone else.  But, as long as we are thinking about our relationship with God and how we can improve that, I think it is all right.  We can be blessed by the distractions around a sermon as well as by the sermon itself.

The forecast thunderstorms held off until the afternoon, when there was a lot of rain in the Lewis Center area.  Fortunately the worship service went forward despite the forecast.