Sunday was a good day. I always enjoy church, and I always enjoy hearing Rebekah preach. But this time we drove almost 400 miles so she could share God’s good word in Devon, Pennsylvania! God keeps surprising us with serendipity after serendipity, and Sunday morning was an experience where we were privileged to know such joy.
St. John’s Presbyterian Church is one of those worshipping communities where you can sense the heartbeat of something real. The people were warm and welcoming, and the work of the Spirit is evident in the generous love and goodwill that abounded. The Body of Christ there is, in a word, authentic.
The atmosphere reflects well on their pastor, Patrick Marshall. It is obvious that he – along with his beautiful family – loves his congregation deeply, and that the love is reciprocal. Same for associate pastor Ridgley Joyner. St. John’s Presbyterian Church felt like a place it would be easy to love, and natural to call home.
Rebekah followed up her teaching on leadership (see “Driving Rebekah to Philly in the rain…“) with a message she titled, “Sing, even if you can’t carry a tune.” She talked about God’s compelling invitation to join in with the great song of redemption and new life.
I may write more about this later, but for now you can connect to her message here (it should be cued up to begin at the sermon, but if not, Rebekah starts just after the 36-minute mark):
St. John’s is such a positive community of believers, and it warmed both of our hearts to be there with the congregation. Worship was followed by a fabulous brunch and the spirit of authentic community was palpable.
It struck both of us that – in a world where we hear so much noise about what is negative, and contentious, and broken, and failing – here in Devon, on the northeastern edge of the Philadelphia suburbs, a community of people committed to following Jesus is making a quiet but eloquent case for the viability of the Kingdom of God.
As Rebekah suggested through her message, and in response to Christ’s winsome invitation to join in with the great chorus, “No storm can shake my inmost calm, while to that rock I’m clinging. Since love is lord of heaven and earth, How can I keep from singing?”
Since love is lord of heaven and earth, How can I keep from singing? – DEREK