Daily Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC
Holy Saturday, April 8, 2023 — Evening
By Beth Stubbs
We are the Church!
Read: Psalm 115:14-18
Many years ago when I was serving on the committee at the church designated to raise the church budget, about $1.5M, it became clear that we might not be able to raise the amount needed. There have been many times that this was the case. I cannot remember the exact composition of the committee, but someone said, “It seems that we are always asking folks to give, but when they do, we don’t celebrate all that we have received. Let’s have a celebration after the campaign comes to a close — whether we make our goal or not!” As you can imagine, a few were skeptical … a celebration if we do not meet the goal? Ultimately the naysayers were convinced to celebrate … no matter what.
As the dialogue turned to what this celebration would look like, it took the shape of a potluck dinner with a show of talents, all ages, from church members who normally do not show their talents. There would also be prayers and hymns sung. Names were given of those who played instruments, sang, would be good Masters of Ceremonies, or were good cooks. Of course, I volunteered my family. My husband Tony had been teaching Thomas, our 4-year-old-son, to sing. We thought that if Tony were up on the stage with Thomas, that Thomas would not be afraid to sing to the crowd. Someone from the Children’s department had taught Thomas the refrain to “We Are the Church.” The refrain goes:
“I am the church! You are the church. We are the church together!
All who follow Jesus, all around the world! Yes, we’re the church together!”
It was a great evening indeed. About 250 people packed into the Parish Hall, eating and having great fellowship. I heard people entertain the group that I had never met, folks from Murphy Builders, and several other Sunday school classes. The program went off without a hitch and Thomas sang his song, “We Are the Church,” and then asked the crowd to sing with him. Thomas was not afraid. I believe the Lord was with him then and now. The Lord is with all of us. We need to celebrate and give witness always. The gifts that God gives us are immeasurable. When I begin making my list of gifts from God, the list goes on and on, and then I realize … it is ALL from God. I am so grateful for his love and for his son, Jesus.
May we all give thanks for the mystery and the victory of Jesus’ resurrection and celebrate what has been given us through his life and death Amen.