Today I am half way through my second doctoral cohort residency at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. I've been spending time with my colleagues and friends discussing, learning, and shaping our ministries together. Today I was in worship at First Presbyterian Church in Dubuque enjoying a wonderful Pentecost worship service in which we celebrated the power of the Holy Spirit. And half way through the service I looked down at my watch and realized it was exactly 10:45 am and my own congregation was beginning worship at home.
I bowed my head and prayed for the congregation as they would celebrate the Holy Spirit in my absence, for the musicians and worship leaders to be empowered, and specifically for our lay speakers to be blessed.
Today, in my home church, three different people were chosen to share their stories of faith. I gave them the assignment to talk about 3 things: how they came to relationship with Jesus Christ, how they came into fellowship with our congregation, and what difference these have made in their lives.
After worship I called my wife to ask her how things went. I was overjoyed to hear that the stories were received with joyful tears and celebratory applause. I'm sure the Spirit was truly known through the testimony of these three witnesses. It's too bad I wasn't there to see it.