This is just a one day break from the usual devotions of the day to tell you about about a momentous, yet very commonplace event in our church this week. I was part of a small prayer meeting on Wednesday evening. This is not unusual. I wish I were a part of a large prayer meeting every week but that is a story for another time. There were ten people present.
Here is what is normal and extraordinary at the same time.
On my left was a man in very poor health due to being HIV positive. He is very frail and I often wonder if the HIV has developed into AIDS. He has the virus due to his pre-conversion lifestyle. He loves the Lord with all his heart and weeps when he talks about what Jesus has done for him. He is poor. On my right was an middle class lady who is legally blind, yet can see enough to read deep theological stuff and loves the Lord very dearly. Across the table from me was a lady who was beaten by her husband before she finally left him. She lives alone, is on welfare and prays to her Saviour with a heart that thrills the soul. Three people down from her is a lady who who is a hair dresser, operating the hair salon out of her home. Her husband only works when he gets called to use his truck for transporting whatever needs moving. There is not much stuff needing moving these days and the household is dependent on the hair salon income. He is in constant pain from the physical labour he has done all his life. Her defining characteristic is joy. This is what God does. He saves people who are not much in the eyes of the world and makes them a kingdom and priests to God forever. He takes the things that are not to bring to nothing the things that are. I can’t think of a better group of people to be with than these who in the midst of their great hardships sing from their hearts the praises of the God who loved them and gave His Son for them and will one day welcome them into the glory of His presence. They are not the greatest suffers in the world. But they are a picture of the church through whom God is bringing people to Himself. What a privilege to be associated with them. I would rather suffer with and pastor and teach and pray with these than the great things that so many people aspire to. It would be a step down to leave this for millions.
Out of that little group of ten people there are four born in Canada, one from Guyana, one from the United States, one from Jamaica, one from Portugal, one from the Phillipines and one from Trinidad. Another astounding picture of the church. Hardly “every tribe, people, nation and language” (Revelation 7:9), but a true picture of the unity in Christ that would not exist between us if not for Him. A testimony to the power of the Gospel to bring people together under one Head, our Lord Jesus Christ. Ten people from all over the world – children of Abraham by faith in Christ, all saying “amen” to one another’s prayers, all wanting Christ to be honoured in their lives and the lives of those in their community.
A small prayer meeting. A great picture of the fact that God has made people from everywhere to know the forgiveness of sin and to honour Him. A few people meeting in a room and no one cares that they are there. No one can hear what they are saying. And yet what they do in that room will alter the world because God is there with them and answers their prayers.
This is the church of Christ. Thank you Lord for allowing me to be a part of it.