Lisa and I were determined to get plugged into a church while here in Hanover and so we set out to do just that this past Sunday. I searched the internet for churches that appealed to us – preferably a southern baptist church. Being away from home causes you to want to find something familiar. Walk into any Wal-Mart and just smell and you will feel right at home.
We were up early and entered into our smart phone navigator the address of the church we had decided on – First Baptist of Hanover. The electronic voice directed us without any trouble to the small brick church and we followed others into what looked like a century old building. We were greeted warmly and before long the pastor came and greeted us. It seemed to me his appearance was much different from the picture I had seen on the website but thought no more of it until Lisa directed my attention to the screen in front. The slide said, “Welcome to the Trinity Church of the Nazarene”. We had somehow been misdirected to the wrong church but it was too late to leave and so we braced ourselves for the unexpected.
What happened next took us by complete surprise as the music and message was an absolute breath of fresh air. The pastor was phenomenal with an upbeat message about God’s love and the wonderful news of how our past is not only forgiven but completely forgotten in his eyes. As he so insightfully put it – we pray to God about things in our past and he doesn’t know what we are talking about. I loved that!
I found myself glued to his message and loved the way he interacted with the small congregation during his sermon. It was a very relaxed atmosphere and needless to say we were pleasantly surprised. At the end of the service a lady asked for prayer for a woman with back pain and members gathered around and prayed for her. It was a pure and perfect example of the body of Christ in action.
I came away from that realizing two very important truths. I am arrogant. I was practically mocking in my attitude as Lisa and I got settled in our seat. The musicians seemed unpolished and the sound system practically archaic. They lacked a choir, fancy lighting and live band. But Lisa and I were blessed – unexpectedly blessed.
The other truth I discovered is that God will put you where he wants you – even if your GPS is wrong.