Morning Prayer: quietly pray along with this St Francis please.
Historically there have been many moments when the Spirit of God came to visit. I appreciate the gentleness of it when it happens. One time in a chapel service a speaker decided to stop and pray instead of finishing his sermon. He bowed and closed his eyes. Within moments tears flowed down his cheeks. There was no alter call, students began to come forward and kneel at the alter. They prayed and held each other. The alter was full, they stayed for hours.
Once I was visiting a church out east. The pastor had asked whoever wanted to come for healing to come forward. First one person, then another. The lady sitting next to me was on crutches. She said you are visiting aren’t you. I said yes. She said please come with me. When we got to the front she asked me if I could please anoint her with the oil that was there and then she said please serve me the communion also. Then she said, and now may I anoint you and serve you as well. A gentle touch from the Spirit moved me. I knew I had been touched by God.
In another situation where the previous pastor had abused alter calls and the congregation became afraid to go to the alter, the new pastor sat down to tell the children’s story. The pastor said to the little girl, is there someone out there you would want sitting next to you. Yes the little girl said. Can you go get that person and ask them to join you here. One person led to another and soon no one was left sitting. People were laughing, smiling, hugging. The Spirit made a digression and visited the people.
A man was playing at a piano bar setting. a request came to him. He said, I am sorry I do not know that song. The song was Amazing Grace. The title would not leave his mind. He went to a nearby church and asked if he could use their hymnal to find a song. He found it. He sat and played it. Sunday after Sunday he would come to the church before the congregation was there. He played by the hour. I was asked to come and speak to the congregation. As was my custom I showed up early. When I got there I had to park a block away as the parking lot was full. I was upset that I had missed the time. I went inside to look for the pastor. I apologized for being late. The pastor said you are not late. I asked what was happening. I was told this man came asking if he could seek God through music. He asked if he could just sit and play. It was ok to do that I told him. He played, Sunday after Sunday he played. First one person came, then another and now there is no where to sit as people come to seek God. The sanctuary is full every Sunday.
As I write these words my mind begins to fill with story after story. When have you been visited by the Spirit. When did you experience a digression to be touched by the Spirit?
Go forth now in the presence of the Spirit of God, be touched and touch others.