Not all God’s gifts are trumpet blasts. Sometimes the low, sweet melodies are what we need.
Published on: 07-31-2018
Look around you Sabbath morning at those with whom you worship. Who holds your church community together?
I watch him working his way down the aisle in the moments between Sabbath School and the start of the worship service. The elderly couple who regularly sit three rows ahead of me brighten as he approaches, and lean forward to his greeting. He holds their hands and murmurs words of warmth and welcome.
Crossing the aisle, he makes a four-year old completely happy when he notices the beautiful green ribbon she is wearing in her hair—and how well it matches her new dress. Her parents beam with righteous pride.
And when he reaches for my hand across the pew, I notice how he gives his gaze entirely to me for the 30 seconds that we talk—no sidelong glances, no reaching for those who could be thought as more important. I am treasured; I am valued; I belong.
His ministry makes me believe this church can be my home—that I will be more to these people than tithe in the offering plate or a number in the Sabbath morning count. He will notice if I’m not here next Sabbath morning—on the road, or sick, or much in need of grace.
And I remember him, well after Sabbath’s sermon has disappeared into the mist, and the choir’s anthem—fine though it was—has drifted to obscurity. For he has given me a context in which I truly hear the Word—let it take root—and find my heart so lifted by the music. Not all God’s gifts are trumpet blasts. Sometimes the low, sweet melodies are what we need.
He is a builder of my church community, and gratefully, not the only one. While we shine spotlights on those who preach and teach and move us with their song, the unsung heroes of a hundred thousand Adventist congregations are the men and women gifted to engage us, learn our names, offer to pray with us, and make us choose this place as “home.”
Give them their due—the laborer’s reward. The Spirit-driven gifts they exercise create the bonds that keep this movement traveling together. If you are one of them—God bless you! And if you are one encouraged by their ministry, express your gratitude for what their kindness means to you.