Sunday, August 2, 2009

So... How was church today?

Well, mine was a very full experience.

Today I went to hear Bishop John preach at Amahoro Stadium. It was a big deal. The Prime Minister, the President of the Senate, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and 10,000 other worshipers were all there. I delight in supporting Bishop John in any way I can, whether that be prayer, just demonstrating respect by being present, or serving as a Personal Assistant/Body Man. And, of course, I wanted to hear Bishop John's message.

So this event was my Sunday morning Church. It quite appropriately began at 9 a.m., under a bright, hot, unrelenting sun,... and Bishop John preached at 3:30 p.m. (Did I forget to say that the Prime Minister, the President of the Senate, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs showed up at 3:00? I somehow missed that Memo.) Between 9 and 3:30 I think I heard every preacher and every church choir in the country of Rwanda. All the preaching was translated,... except for Bishop John, who we might call the headliner. No, he preached in Kinyarwanda only. He was GREAT (according to the riotous laughter and applause, and moans of affirmation and conviction),... but how would I know? He spoke one line in English, and I recognized it as a familiar Bishop John message: "Do it with excellence, with commitment, with expertise, with love, BUT DO IT!" Bishop John is the original "Yes, we can!" guy, but he preaches not only "We can!", but also "We must!... and we must do it with love,... because He loved us first". So that is all I understood,... but I also heard the heart.

Well, at 5:00 my phone rang. It was my 4:30 appointment waiting at my house. (Was it so unreasonable for me to think that I'd be home by 12 noon for lunch?) The Church service was still going on, but I staggered to my car. Nine to five, that is a full 8 hour day and an undeniable miracle for a guy with Attention Deficit Disorder who usually starts looking at his watch 30 minutes into the message, and who uses the restroom every 30 minutes, but not once in 8+ hours today. Believers call that a miracle. Others call it severe dehydration.

The early American Puritans would not be able to keep the pace of these Rwandans when it comes to worship. I might wonder if God has any difficulty keeping up. For Rwandans, it is a great, rockin' celebration that they would never want to miss or abbreviate.