Monday, May 2, 2011

Memorial Sunday for Last Year's Flood

We had a special and touching church service this morning. It was framed as a memorial to the big flood a year ago this weekend when we had fifteen inches of rain in 48 hours. The pastor told how a year ago about fifteen people (that included us) had made it to church when he realized they needed to cancel it. Fifty families in our church alone were affected to some degree, at least half of them losing everything.

In the children's sermon he held up the visual he had planned to use for the children that Sunday a year ago--it was a framed picture of Noah's Ark. The point he made with it is that the first thing Noah did after coming out of the ark and that traumatic experience was to worship the Lord.

We had two testimonials--one from the lady who ended up organizing much of the effort as our church served for a month as a disaster-relief center for the community. She said she never got over the joy of watching someone leave with a smile after they had come in completely beaten down. The other came from a couple who lost everything in the flood (I don't mind telling you there were tears with that one).

The choir sang a thrilling arrangement of the song, "The Anchor Holds."
The anchor holds though the ship is battered;
The anchor holds though the sails are torn;
I have fallen on my knees as I faced the raging seas.
The anchor holds in spite of the storm.

We sang "Great Is Thy Faithfulness."

Our pastor brought an excellent message from Ps. 40:1-3 and Ps. 93, including these verses: “He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.”

Especially in light of what has happened to so many in our same part of the country this past week (over 350 dead from tornados), it was touching, sobering, and a powerful reminder that our Anchor does hold in the face of the storms that come our way in this earthly journey.

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