Today, for the first time in weeks and weeks - no longer than that, months and months, I didn`t go to church. Yet, today I experienced a time of worship, that was very touching.
Let me expand on that.
I didn`t even get up until later than normal this morning, because I`d agreed to go over and have Sunday Lunch with my Mum in the care place she is at, because they were having a visit this afternoon by a visiting Young Peoples Salvation Army band.
Knowing that our morning service wouldn`t finish in time to enable me to do that, I decided not to go. So I spent a bit of time at home, trying out playing a few hymns on the piano before setting out for Mums. The Sunday Lunch, (served in her room) was very good - roast pork and all the trimmings, followed by a delicious chocolate trifle.
I then pushed her into the Communial Room where the Band were to play. There was a few other residents there when we arrived, and Mum soon transferred from her wheelchair into one of the easy chairs, and I had one beside her. As we sat there, more and more residents gradually made their way into the room, and all the seats began to be taken. I then gave my seat up to another lady, and sat the other side of the room to the side of where the band were to be.
The local Salvation Army captain, (who I knew) and one or two other officers from the local corps came with the youngsters of the band, and the afternoon started. Hymn sheets were given out to everyone, so that we could join in singing. We sang about 6 or 7 different hymns, listened to a reading and a very good short talk on the reading and the afternoon concluded with a prayer.
That may not sound `out of the ordinary`, but to me, from where I was sitting, I could see all the residents, and just to see the way they knew the hymns and were joining in singing along with them, and the look on the faces of some of them as they did so, was so moving, somehow. And so inspiring to see the youngsters aged from 9 upwards, really committed to the band.
And, in that room with that group of people, I really felt a sense of God`s presence there with us. It was a unique time. During the prayer, I for some unknown reason, felt tears come to my eyes. Not tears of sadness or distress, but of being somehow deeply moved by just being there.
So, although I didn`t go to church today, I found a real place and time of worship.