Last Sunday morning was unlike any Sunday morning I have ever experienced before. Last Sunday I don’t think will ever be repeated again and it was for me an extremely powerful and moving experience.
We arrived at Mount Lebanon Baptist church at 10.15am for the 10.30am Sunday service. I for one was uninformed as to what to expect during the next two hours. My initial thoughts were filled with excitement and apprehension, however I was keeping an open mind, I knew that I was about to experience something unique and something that would ultimately shape and change my views in some way. As we made our way into the Church we were greeted with such enthusiasm. The atmosphere was warm and opening and there was definitely a great sense of community spirit. The sense of joy filled every seat and resonated through every person in the church.
The service was filled with many memorable moments these include the WIP quartet that sang not out of their own will, Happy Birthday to the Pastor. As the Simon Cowell of the group as a Music Graduate I would have to say they did quite a good job! Allow me for one moment jump to the very end of the service. While everyone was eating some delicious Birthday Cake I decided that I would return to the main church hall to see if I could get a chance to play on the Piano. I met the Musical Director and so asked if I could try out the very expensive digital baby grand piano. I launched into some Irish melodies on the piano, after some time I turned around to see the Musical Director return to the top of the Church, he took out his alto sax and began to play by ear the Irish melody that I was playing. We improvised for some time and the piece came to a natural end. Why do I share this with you, because for me music is a universal language, music expresses the things words fail to express.
‘We have this treasure in earthen vessels that the Excellency of the power may be of god and not out of us’. The second epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, Chapter 4 Verse 7
Rev Edmonds rose to give his Sermon; during this most powerful of orations the Pastor spoke about really holding tight of the small valuable aspects of one’s life. He urged us the WIP class of 2012 to appreciate our Youth, to recognize that the time of being young was important and that we must treasure this. His sermon reached a dramatic climax when interjections of support flew around the church, his voice quickened in pace and his physical passion rose. I could not help but smile as some members of the congregation voiced their approval with such responses as, ‘I hear ya’ and ‘Praise the Lord’. This sermon was perhaps one of the most powerful orations I have heard in a long time, many of the speeches I have listened to, yes have had content and yes they may have had some nice little message, however they all lacked the passion and enthusiasm that Pastor Edmonds showed last Sunday morning.
Pastor Edmonds sermon made me think about the treasures in my life. What or who did I really appreciate? The things I was thinking about seemed extremely important to me until I read a Blog from Louise Mackey. In her excellently written and thought provoking blog Louise says, ‘I write this not off the cuff but with a lump in my throat because I know that it is the environment that you all have created for me which has made me capable of forming deep roots that will not wilt’. It occurred to me that my treasure was my family, those who have shaped me and those who have encouraged me in all aspects of my life to date.
They say it is only when something is gone that you don’t appreciate the value of that item, this is the case with my family. To reiterate Louise’s point, akin to Louise’s family in their own unique way, my parents, brothers, sister, grandmother, aunties and uncles have created an environment whereby I could succeed in everything I put my mind too. In particular my parents have given me every opportunity to excel in life and they are the very ones that will not allow the roots of my development to, ‘wilt’.
When my parents read this they may think that the sun has gone to my head and that I am talking absolute nonsense! However, it is true that we must treasure our treasures and in doing so we need to appreciate those around us for what they do daily.
Families are like fudge…mostly sweet with a few nuts - Anonyms