I still remember pretty clearly Sunday morning September 22, 1985, my first Sunday as a pastor in Aurora, Colorado. Approximately 1560 Sundays have passed (I didn’t take the time to calculate the leap years) since my first Sunday in Aurora, Colorado 30 years ago. That is a lot of Sundays.
There have been a bunch of Sundays that I remember pretty distinctly… I remember the emotion of our first Sunday in our new building; I remember the Sunday the Christmas tree fell over during the service; I remember the Sunday I ridiculed forest rangers (right after that service that I found out that it was also the only Sunday in those 30 years that a forrest ranger attended our service… what are the odds of that happening?).
Certainly one of the most memorable Sundays is one that I don’t really recall. Let me explain… after attending our church for two or three years, Linda was in our membership class. As was my custom, I asked her and the others about the specific time when they chose to trust in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins. Linda surprised me by telling the story of one Sunday morning a couple of years earlier, when at the end of a sermon she followed my instructions to pray and ask God for forgiveness and she chose to follow Him. Quietly and without any outward demonstration one Sunday morning Linda’s sins were forgiven and she become a follower of Jesus. No one else in the building knew what had happened but that Sunday morning there was a party in heaven as the angels rejoiced.
Linda’s story reminds me that every time that we’ve gotten together in the last 30 years, God has been present and active. While the quality of the sermons has varied from week to week, I’m reminded that God has consistently showed up and often does His best work when we are not even aware of it. That’s a very good thing.