I've been unable to contribute any blog postings for awhile. Synod keeps me very busy! My fellow bloggers have given a good sense of the feeling of Synod. This is good, that no one person needs to feel obliged to relate everything about the meetings.
Although it has been several days, I want to note here the opening worship of Synod, which took place on Thursday. This was a joint service of worship, with the Reformed Church in America and the Christian Reformed Church in North America gathered together.
In short, it was amazing.
There are some few occasions in my life when, in worship, I have been singing a hymn along with everyone else there, and then I have to stop, so overwhelmed am I. My voice catches. My eyes well up with tears. This happened to me several times in that service.
I suspect I was not the only one.
Yes, the music was well lead by the fine musicians. Yes, there were many people there. Yes, the event was historic (as we were celebrating a small yet signficant sign of our unity. Those all helped. But there was more, some things identifiable, some unnameable.
I felt sincerity by those gathered, and I heard it in their voices as they raised them clear and loud and strong and hopeful.
I felt reconciliation and forgiveness, as I looked across the worshippers at a man from whom I felt some uncertainty and even estrangement, and was overwhelmed with love for him.
I felt like a sinner in need of redeeming, a patient in need of healing, a prodigal in need of welcoming. And there I felt that I was offered, and I received, all those things.
As Moses said to Joshua, "Oh, that all the Lord's people would be prophets, and that God would pour out God's spirit on them."
Would that all the Lord's people have such an encounter with the Holy, in their own congregations on regular Sunday mornings of no particular historical significance.