Since Daniel and I found East Pickens, we have felt that it was to be our church home in South Carolina. It somewhat reminded us of our church home in Virginia. The people, the church, the kids; it called to us. We were at home. That said, this new church, our new church was in transition. We were blessed to have Dr. Tony Beam as our interim pastor. He's a bigwig, head of something at North Greenville College and also hosts his own radio show. We loved hearing him preach each Sunday. His grasp of the word mixed with daily application and humor enriched us. However, he was not the head pastor and some things that you don't notice slip by the wayside. Tonight, I was blessed to be apart of one of those missing things.
Our good friend Jason (Alicia's husband), was ordained as a deacon tonight. As part of the service, our new pastor first called the other ordained men in our church to lay hands on Jason. Then, at the end he called for the church body to lay hands on Jason and Alicia. I can't even explain how much that touches me. Something about praying with others like that just brings tears to my eyes. It did tonight.
At our church home in Richmond, the laying of hands on brothers and sisters was common. It was rarely a planned thing. If our pastor heard of an illness that morning, we would gather around and pray for that person by laying our hands on him. There is so much power in that act of faith. I remember a gentleman who was having trouble battling cancer. They were not certain that he would go into remission. We laid our hands on him and prayed in earnest. Not long after that, his cancer was in remission. God is so good.
I told our pastor tonight that I was so touched to see that he did that for our friends. I hadn't seen the laying of hands on someone since we've been in SC (over 2 years now). It may have happened on a Sunday I missed, but I'm not sure. He was surprised and caught off guard. He then let me know that we would be taking the Lord's Supper next week. I hadn't realize that it had been a good long time since that had occurred at the church. I did get to partake when I visited a friend in VA recently.
I am blessed to be in a church that loves it's people enough to pray over them like that. As a church we are blessed to have a pastor that does this for our body. If you've never had a church pray over you like that or have been a part of that act, then this post may seem weird. But let me tell you, it's one of the most uplifting things you will experience.
Jason and Alicia, we'll be praying for both of you!