Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Heard on High
The mid-week evening service had just concluded at Victory Tabernacle and Assistant Pastor Michael was spending a few moments with Board member Jake Klassen at the back of the sanctuary. The service had been pleasant with a sense of some liberty in the people to give testimony or a word of scripture in the "sharing time".
But the topic of their discussion was the Sunday morning service just past. It had been the launch of a new format which had been under consideration for months. New "renewal" praise. A larger, more contemporary band. A new audio-visual system to facilitate sermon messages and to hook into satellite meetings from ministries of interest.
They were discussing what they had observed in the praise session. New songs which were an adjustment for the people. No matter. The band had jacked up the volume. The praise team carried the lyrics with gusto. The people would catch on to the use of the overhead screen. Hadn't used the old Hymn Books once that morning. Neither the old choruses. Had avoided straight out Bible reading for more time in the music. Unquestionably the experiment had proved exciting. They were really moving into a new era. Perhaps now more people might come. Praise God!
Suddenly they noticed a tall stranger standing closer to the back door with coat on and head bowed. It was obvious that he had been listening, but he took no step forward to engage. They smiled courteously and continued their discussion. Five minutes later it was time to wrap up. He was still there, but now his gaze was fixed upon them.
Pastor Mike said, "What's your name friend? May we help you somehow?"
The stranger took a few seconds to respond. He appeared in his late thirties. His look and his dress were anything but contemporary. His salt and pepper brown hair perhaps a little too long.
He responded, "My name is Jordan. I was just wondering whether you folks cancelled the service on Sunday morning past?"
"Far from it, Jordan," blurted Jake, "we had one of our greatest gatherings. Such enthusiasm. Such excitement. Such freshness. Quite a new thing for us all."
The visitor responded, "I am the Angel Jordan. Several of us have been assigned to watch over your flock and to report. This past Sunday we heard nothing from you people and wondered what was wrong."
Then he was gone.
8Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God:
9But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.
(With thanks for the story to some seasoned evangelist-missionary friends.)