Thursday, May 11, 2023

Orange Moon Thursday, May 11, 2023 "A Moment of Grace"

The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe… 

(For Mr. James and Mrs. Scott) 

"A Moment of Grace"


    Along with the joy believers find in communicating the Lord Jesus Christ, a sense of frustration accompanies our testimony.   How do we find words that begin to adequately express the marvel and wonder of God's living Word, Christ, and His written Word, the Bible?  This particularly applies to those called to preach and teach the Gospel.  Frustrating indeed, because Christian communicators realize that no human eloquence exists whereby we can say or write what should be said or written about so wondrous a Subject.  "Oh Lord, how great are Thy works!  And Thy thoughts are very deep!" (Psalm 92:5).

   I presently feel this way, although what I want to communicate concerns an event that happened yesterday in one of the retirement communities where we conduct services, rather than an attempt to convey truth.  Mr. James has been with us for about a year.  Everyone at the facility loves this most kind and gracious gentlemen.  More importantly, Mr. James loves the Lord Jesus, and he loves to sing for and about Him.  I often conclude our Wednesday morning service with, "Do you have something for us today,  Mr. James?"

   He often does, but yesterday, he provided something more special than usual.  This introduces Mrs. Scott to the story.  She has lived at the facility for many years, and regularly attends our services.  In her lates 90s, she remains bright and sweet, and like Mr. James, she serves as a special blessing to all.  At the end of the service today, I asked Mr. James if he might have a hymn for us.  He arose, positioned his walker, and began to do something he rarely does.  He walked very slowly to the center of the room.  I could not hear him well, but I heard him mention something about his "sister."  He finally reached Mrs. Scott and helped her arise to her feet.  I do not think this was planned, nor do I think Mrs. Scott knew what was supposed to happen.  Mr. James said, "Go ahead, Mrs. Scott."  She  began to quietly and sweetly sing "The Old Rugged Cross."  Mr. James immediately joined her for perhaps the most holy version of the great old hymn I have ever heard.  The finished their song, hugged each other, and together received a hug from me also before they parted.   Sublime, and I think everyone in the service realized our Heavenly Father had chosen to grace us with His presence in a most beautiful and powerful way.

    I daily pray for brothers and sisters in Christ, that we will be "filled with the Spirit, speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord" (Ephesians. 5:18-19).  How the Lord answered that request yesterday, in a way that still brings tears to my eyes as I recount the gift He gave us.  I think of the fact that not that long ago, the area in which we live of the United States would have been a very difficult place for Mr. James and Mrs. Scott to sing a duet together.  Thankfully, such sad days are gone.  Presently, the Lord brings His people together from every culture and class, revealing His redeeming and uniting love found in the Lord Jesus.  As the Apostle Paul wrote of Jew and Gentile together in Christ, "He is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us" (Ephesians 2:14).

    Frances and I have conducted thousands of services in retirement facilities through the years.  We never think of the privilege in those terms, however.  We rather ponder moments, moments of grace, when in countless ways, the Spirit of God reveals the Christ of God in faces, voices, smiles, tears, and most of all, hearts.  Yesterday offered one of those moments.  No words can express the blessedness of the occasion.  We will not forget it, no, not in this life, nor in eternity to come as we forever recall the strains of a most beautiful duet, sung in a most wondrous way.  "On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross…"

"O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto Him with psalms." 
(Psalm 95:1-2)

Weekly Memory Verse
     The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth.
(Psalm 145:18)




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