This Sunday, there was a grace moment in church- a moment so filled with and blessed by the Holy Spirit that I will always remember it.
The pianist played a beautiful version of 'Jesus Loves Me' during the offertory. As the notes rippled throughout the sanctuary, so did another sound... the soft sound of voices singing the hymn, quietly and gently. As I looked out at the congregation, I saw so many people, young and old, singing the song together. Parents encouraging their young children with the words, older people with smiles on their faces at the familiar tune, elderly members silently moving their lips to a song they've known for years.
It was such a powerful visual. Almost a liturgical Norman Rockwell painting- the family of God gives their offerings and rejoices in song. Yet there was more than just a nice visual and a sweet sound. There was a genuine sincerity in the music. These weren't lyrics to puzzle over or a new melody. The song was sung from memory of life experience and spiritual understanding. So, it will always stand as one of the most profound theological moments of my life- watching the group of people I have come to love and feel a part of singing with blessed assurance, "Yes, Jesus loves me."