Tony Campolo tells the story about the late Mike Yaconelli, who told the story about a deacon in his church who wasn’t fulfilling his duties. He just didn’t do what he was supposed to do as a deacon.
One day he said to the deacon, “I have a group of young people who go to the old folks home and put on a worship service once a month. Would you drive them to the old folks home and at least do that?” The deacon agreed.
The first Sunday the deacon was at the old folks home, he was in the back with his arms folded as the kids were doing their thing up front. All of a sudden, someone was tugging at his arm. He looked down, and here was this old man in a wheelchair. He took hold of the old man’s hand and the old man held his hand all during the service. The next month that was repeated. The man in the wheelchair came and held the hand of the deacon.
The next month, the next month, and the next month.
Then the old man wasn’t there. The deacon inquired and he was told, “Oh, he’s down the hall, right hand side, third door. He’s dying. He’s unconscious, but if you want to go down and pray over his body that’s all right.”
The deacon went and there were tubes and wires hanging out all over the place. The deacon took the man’s hand and prayed that God would receive the man, that God would bring this man from this life into the next and give him eternal blessings.
As soon as he finished the prayer, the old man squeezed the deacon’s hand and the deacon knew that he had been heard. He was so moved by this that tears began to run down his cheeks.
He stumbled out of the room and as he did so he bumped into a woman. She said, “He’s been waiting for you. He said that he didn’t want to die until he had the chance to hold the hand of Jesus one more time.”
The deacon was amazed at this. He said, “What do you mean?”
She said, “Well, my father would say that once a month Jesus came to this place. ‘He would take my hand and he would hold my hand for a whole hour. I don’t want to die until I have the chance to hold the hand of Jesus one more time.’”
This story reminds us all that when people experience “holding the hand of Jesus,” they are touched with the “wonders of his love.” They are the recipients of compassionate joy.
I encourage to reach out in your own special ways and gifts to help people believe and experience the “wonders of God’s love” with compassionate joy!
January Sermon Focus - Drawn In
Jan. 5 - (Epiphany Sunday)- As it was in the Beginning- Psalm 147:12-20
What is your doxology?
Remember your baptism.
Jan.19 - Called in the Sight of God- John 1:29-42
How have you experienced Jesus saying to you, “Come and see”?"
How might a focus on Christ rather than how church was in the “good old days” help us to step into the light of liberation?
I offer my blessings for a joyous Christmas and a wonderful and prosperous New Year!
For over one hundred and fifty years, the First Congregational Church of Huntley has served the spiritual needs of the ever-changing generations. The Church has always been a beacon of light to the community where people could go for help and be part of a close Christian fellowship.
Young and old alike join in to worship, celebrate baptism and communion, sing praises, join in fellowship and prayer, and depend upon God's guidance to lead us into the future.
New member orientation takes place a few times throughout the year and provides an opportunity to meet and talk with church members, find out about the church and it's activities, and learn about the United Church of Christ.