We have been very blessed here in Lamont. Depending on which news reports you listen to, between 500,000 and 250,000 people were without power this morning in Oklahoma. We had a substantial amount of rain last night, and the wonderful thing was the temperature actually rose slightly last night. So, it really was just rain, and not freezing rain.
We still don’t have heat in the parsonage, but with four space heaters throughout the house, we are staying pretty warm. I am thankful this morning for electricity!
In my post yesterday, my original intent was to reflect a bit on leading worship on a day where winter weather kept many people from attending worship. (I was distracted by the picture of McFarlin I stumbled across on MSNBC…) Our attendance on Sunday was somewhere around 45, which was actually better than I was anticipating. That is about half of our average attendance. Our organist lives in a town to our west and our pianist is not comfortable getting out in icy conditions. (I think they both made the right decisions for their safety.) The interesting thing is this meant that we had no accompaniment. This made me realize how blessed we are to have such gifted folks leading us in our musical worship. But I also found that singing without accompaniment helped me to hear the words in a different way.
Finally, as we were singing our final hymn, I looked out at the congregation and I thought about the many people who wanted to be in worship, but just didn’t feel like they could get there safely. (Of course there were probably some who could have easily made it, but the weather provided a good excuse to sleep in.) But many of our older members just don’t feel sure-footed enough to get out when there is so much ice. I couldn’t help but think that we were worshiping God, not just on our own, but on their behalf as well. We were carrying on the church’s witness to God in the absence of those who could not be there. In reality, we do this every week, but it was particularly evident this Sunday when the weather kept so many folks away. It made me realize that when there is inclement weather, for those who are able to make it to worship, it is their privilege to carry on the whole church’s task of worshiping God.
I thank God for showing me blessings in the midst of difficult situations!