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Where Two or Three Are Gathered. 465. July 9, 2023



KEY SCRIPTURE: Matthew 10:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.


RELEVANCE A few weeks ago, a Salvation Army officer (friend of a friend) asked if I could take over his preaching gig at a retirement village. They held weekly meetings with itinerant ministers, so I would be required monthly, and I could fit that in. My first meeting was last Thursday.


I knew the place as our band performed Christmas carols there a few years ago. I rang the group's administrator, an elderly lady, who was very pleased to hear I could fill the spot.


I didn't know who or what to expect, so I adjusted my sermon to suit a general congregation. I found more than a dozen elderly ladies seated and smiling, waiting to hear the new guy. They all pitch in and rearrange the library, putting out the chairs and old overhead projector with the plastic slides for the songs and setting up the podium with the little microphone.


I spoke about the wonders of our daily companion, Jesus Christ, and how important our relationship with Him is as we get on in years. Preaching to older women was enjoyable, because they could relate to trials and the harder aspects of following Christ. There were many nods and smiles of understanding.


We sang three lovely hymns in our best voices, but I think we all needed more lung power.


After the service, we packed everything away again to make the place look like the library it was. I stayed for a cuppa so I could get to know them better. As we arrived at the meal area, two of them were dispensing from the large teapots and serving the others. They were of a mixed but rich heritage and shared stories as we laughed through our twenty minute repast of tea and bickies.


When they left, I had some private time with the administrator who shared a remarkable blessing from the Lord. The batten of group's administration (organising meetings, songs, organists, etc) was handed to her around four years ago, after the last administrator passed away. Not once has the service been cancelled, a speaker not turned up, or has an organist been missing.


She shared that on one week, her organist died. (They do that in retirement villages). She thought, "what will I do now?" so she prayed, giving the problem to the Lord. Guess what? No less than three organists signed into the village in the next week, and she booked one for the service. When I turned up, she thanked the Lord for the continuity of His love and support. Their stories were faith-boosting.


Not surprisingly, no men attended. I can work on that.


It's a privilege to speak at this gathering and know that it is operating. In a quiet village of so-called 'old people', bypassed by many travellers, flow prayers and praises to Heaven daily from a multitude of people. Who would know?


Two or three in my name. Praise God!


PRAYER Lord and Saviour, thanks for the privilege of mixing with this hidden bunch of believers. Please enrich us all on our journey together.

Photo by Danie Franco

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