And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works…. – Hebrews 10:24
I was standing outside of the entrance to the church last Sunday morning.
The sky was “new day” blue with a spattering of white clouds painted all over it. There wasn’t a breath of wind – both flags on the flagpole were still sleeping.
I was looking up at the steeple of the church and the cross that is there.
Walt and Darlene walked by and Walt asked me what I was looking at. Thinking ahead to my sermon for that morning I told him, “I’m looking at Jesus!”
They continued inside to choir practice and I stood there looking up when over the church flew a skein of geese.
There were about four dozen or so geese in a majestic “V” formation. The steady “honk, honk” reached me as they flew overhead towards the neighborhood across the street and the several ponds and small lakes that I knew were over there.
In that moment, I changed my “Feeding of the Lambs” message for that morning. (My original message will be tomorrow’s devotion).
Geese fly in a “V” shaped pattern, so I’ve read, to aid in their long flights. The goose in front cuts the wind resistance for the one behind, enabling the skein to travel further distances.
The lead is swapped out when the goose there gets tired. And they all honk to encourage each other to keep going.
That morning, as a dozen or so children sat in front of me, I told them about this. Then I had them look back at the congregation.
In our sanctuary, people can sit in pews either on the left or the right side. When the presiding minister is standing in front, you can imagine a “V” shape.
The people look to the lead “goose” (pastor) as he leads them in the worship of God. He “honks” at them with the words of the liturgy such as, “The Lord be with you” and the congregation “honks” back with words like, “And also with you!”
I told the children that in our church we have two pastors who swap positions in order to keep our strength up in leading the flock.
I admit I didn’t think that this message was anything profound or special. And I didn’t think much about it as I proceeded, after singing the Hymn of the Day, to the main sermon.
You can probably guess what the people remembered most about that morning, though.
As they were walking out and I was greeting them, some said to me, “honk, honk!”
Later that day, I received a few emails saying, “honk, honk!”
It was pretty cool, I’ll tell you!
This is the time of year that geese are making their way back south around here. They are migrating by the thousands from Canada through Wisconsin and Illinois into the Southern United States.
Wherever you are, if you see and hear these geese, remember that this is how the Church works as well.
We travel through our lives in a pattern – gathering together to worship Jesus. We have pastors who lead us and encourage us. And we encourage them and each other to keep flying. Sometimes we swap positions to make sure no one gets too tired to travel where the Lord is leading us.
If you’ve read this far, I invite you to leave me a two-word comment, “honk, honk!”
©2016 True Men Ministries