What a Joy Divine!

I could still hear the buzzing as I came down the stairs and back to the worship center on Sunday. I had left to go to my office for a few minutes and assumed that everyone would be gone home or out to lunch. But when I walked in, I saw clumps of people here and there-- talking, laughing, and catching up-- refusing to leave, even as Pedro was beginning to break the room down.

Part of it, of course, was joy over the professions of faith that were made in the 11 o'clock service. Proud parents, but also Bible fellowship teachers, children's choir and missions’ leaders, who all knew that they had had a part in it. Their hours of preparation each week--for years--was bearing fruit!

Some were making new friends of first-time guests, and that's always exciting. Every week we are seeing lots of those walk through our doors. "This is the friendliest church I have ever seen," one woman told me after coming for a few months. And that's not what you expect when you move to the DC suburbs and start to find a church.

And then there are always former members coming back for a visit. They are usually shocked when they first see the sanctuary in tatters, but when they have the situation explained and they hear our vision for 2020 they join in our excitement. Plus, the FAC is not a bad place for worship while the construction is happening. Actually, it's a really good experience for most!

Audrey and I were happy to welcome back an old friend of ours. Joanna was in the service with her newest child, Thoren. I don't suppose we had seen her for almost 5 years, but when they lived here, she and Ben were active in attendance and ministry. We more or less "adopted" them and grieved more than normal when a job took them to Chicago.
We stayed longer than we usually do ourselves, talking and taking pictures. Others who had known them back then were joining in, too.

I guess that by 1PM everyone was gone--or at least continuing their conversations out on the parking lot or at a restaurant. It is "Restaurant Week," remember!

"After-glow" is what you call it. A desire to linger and enjoy a bit longer the presence of God and the fellowship of friends. And sometimes those minutes are more impactful--even life-changing--than the worship service itself.

There's nothing like being an active participant in the Body of Christ. In sad times and those that are the happiest, we have someone to share them with.

Ten year old Hannah, one of my favorite young church members, stopped me after the service to tell me how much she loves our church. She is learning sign language, she told me, but wants to learn Braille, too, in order to serve the deaf and the blind. Did I know of a program where she could learn it?

"I'm not deaf, or blind," she added, so I would not be confused.

And I have known this child her entire life!
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