I recently spent a few days visiting my mom in Ohio and one of the things that we did was attend church on Sunday morning at her home church, Christ United Methodist in Alliance. She has come to love this congregation over the past 14 years or so and after attending with her numerous times during that time I can certainly understand why. They are a gracious and welcoming congregation and I always enjoy the services. I think one of the things that I really enjoy about their services are that there is a certain “ritual” still associated with worship. The Lord’s Prayer, affirmations and singing the Doxology always make me feel connected to my faith and the hymns, especially this past visit, were ones that mean a lot to me. I love contemporary worship, I love all kinds of music in worship but at times I really find myself feeling more centered when I am in a traditional service with all of the things that are a part of it.
I had noticed a phrase on their bulletin the last time I had worshiped with them and had promptly forgotten to write it down. This time I whipped out my phone and typed it into my “blog post list” so I would not forget it again. The following words are printed at the bottom of the bulletin :
Stand if you are able. Don’t fret if you can’t.
I absolutely love that they include that every week for their congregation that has a majority in attendance who are “seniors”. Having spent a good chunk of time with my mom that week I could understand that that might be a real concern for many in that congregation who just can’t stand for each hymn and prayer and affirmation.
I also think it has great meaning for all of us. There are many things in our lives that we can control. But there are also many things that are impossible to control. Fretting about them does not help us one iota to change the things that we cannot do anything about. Some days we may be strong and able to stand but some days–yes–some days—we just need to sit a spell and let others around us stand and be the strong ones. That is okay. It is okay to sit down every once in awhile when others are standing. It is certainly better to not fret about those times and to just enjoy and live in the moment.
So today—a few words from a bulletin should be taken to heart. Don’t fret. It will all be okay.