Monday, September 17, 2012

A Man and Woman in Bed at Church?

I am a busy guy on Sundays. I preach for two services in the morning to a combined group of about 600 people.  Being fresh and having something to meaningful to say 45 Sundays in a year is quite a challenge.  I frequently hear people say they want to be “moved” when they come to a Sunday morning service. That is legitimate.  I want to be “moved” too. But perhaps it would be good for all of us to “get moving.”

Most of Jan’s extended family live on farms either in West Texas just southeast of Lubbock or in the Panhandle west of Amarillo. Her second cousin, Butch Fairchild and his wife, Paula have farmed in Adrian, Texas since 1974. Adrian is about 50 miles west of Amarillo on Interstate 40 not too far from the New Mexico state line. The Fairchild family worship at a small church in rural Adrian comprised of about 30 members.

On Sunday, September 9th, Butch was unable to be at church. He was living out his final days at the hospice facility with his family at his side. The good folks at his church in Adrian decided that they would get moving on that Sunday morning.  There were no services at their church building on the 9th, because the entire congregation made the 50 mile trek to Amarillo to have church with Butch and his family at the hospice facility.  All but two of their members were able to make it that morning.

The hospice employees wheeled his bed outside to the patio adjacent to his room. His son, Jeff, shares this report about the experience:

"He led the closing prayer with everyone around the bed," Jeff said. "My mother sat beside him. I told a few people that this is the first time I know that it was OK for a man and woman to be in bed in church."

When I heard the story about the church service at the Hospice unit, it occurred to me that if we want to be “moved” that perhaps we need to “get moving.”  If we would spend less time thinking about our own needs and consider instead what others are facing it would actually enhance our worship experience on Sunday. And…I think we would find that our actions would be “moving” to someone else.
Butch and Paula were no doubt “moved” on Sunday, September 9th. Their lives were touched profoundly, because their entire church chose to be “on the move.”

A few days after that service Butch passed from this life. His funeral was held at the Adrian School Gymnasium last Saturday. I heard the gym was packed. I hope the little church in Adrian stays on the move.  They have certainly “moved” me. 

1 comment:

Smockity Frocks said...

Very well stated! And your sermons on this topic the past few weeks have been spot on! BRAVO!