BY MERLE POIRIER [Main Story]
t began as every other Communion Sabbath might in my local church. The pews were full, the service progressed, and Pastor Lutz preached the sermon on which this article is based. We then separated for the foot-washing service. What I expected was what typically happens—the congregation that begins the service is not the one at the end. While the goal is for a temporary separation, it actually becomes permanent as many head for the parking lot.
As I headed for the women’s foot-washing room, I was amazed to see so many others participating. Every chair was full—women were elbow to elbow. Deacons had to bring in more water. My husband reported the same thing in his room. Could it be? Had the message been that effective, that immediate? The room filled quickly; it was even difficult for people to find a seat. Amazing!
During the service I observed a member who had returned after having been absent for several weeks. This individual had recently faced some challenging personal issues. Word began to spread, making “reentry” into church life a scary prospect. However, it was with excitement that I crossed the sanctuary to welcome him back. As we spoke, people began to line up. One by one they greeted the person with words such as: “I need to get into your personal space!” Showered with hugs and affection, the individual was warmly welcomed “home.”
What a difference a sermon combined with the inflowing of the Holy Spirit can make!
Merle Poirier is technology projects coordinator,
Adventist Review, and a member of the Spencerville congregation.