This Sunday at 10 am we have the privilege of worshiping with (some of) the men at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola via a two-way LiveStream feed.
If you ask me: it’s one of the best Sundays of the year at Elmhurst CRC Not because the music, prayers, and preaching are at their best (though I’m sure they will be great). And not because the coffee is particularly tasty or the Christmas spirit high (though, again, both will be true!).
It’s one of the best because it’s the service in which I always hear what a wonderful picture of the Kingdom of God it is.
And it’s true!
While we understand in our heads that on any given Sunday morning people from around the world with diverse backgrounds and circumstances set aside time to come before God in worship, it’s easy to forget this when we’re tucked up all cozy in our seats at ECRC.
It’s all too easy to get caught up in the who, what, when, where, how of the way WE worship (and certainly of thinking we worship the correct way) and forget that God enjoys praises and hears petitions brought God’s way in many forms and from many places—even (especially probably) what we consider to be unlikely places.
When we worship with the men of Angola (as we have for part of our continued relationship with them for over 10 years), we get to see the variety of worship firsthand—indeed from the coziness of our own seats.
I love how the experience of worshiping with the men of Angola takes us into one of the toughest prisons in the United States and yet also ushers us into the Kingdom of God.
That is what makes this service the best. I hope you’re able to attend with us. And if you do, please note: Although we like to get comfy, cozy in our seats, we need to be extra aware that we are on camera for this service. In essence, we are welcoming these men into our “home” (as they are welcoming us into theirs). So, it’s important that we practice extra hospitality, mind our manners, and worship with our friendliest, warmest faces. In other words: SMILE! You’re in the Kingdom of God!