The tidy little white church was very much open for business.
Driving by just in time, I turned in for the 10:15 a.m. worship service Sunday, July 11, 2021. As I was adjusting my parking, a couple arrived on a golf cart. She got off at the main entrance and left some bags on the outside bench by the front door. (Later, I heard beets were one of the vegetables freshly harvested for this shared bounty.)
After being handed a bulletin and overhearing “we might have to share,” I went with an aisle vs. a window seat. I noticed the sermon title was about flight — which seemed fitting given it’s right across from an airfield.
Pastor Gary told those in attendance at Stanton United Methodist Church that it was great to see all the “bright shiny faces.” Readings included the words “heavenly realm” and “glorious grace.” We heard a couple of stories about lavish grace in action.
The first story started with a show of hands in answer to a question about flying first class. Mine stayed down. Pastor said, “I hear it’s nice.” The nice story was about a retired couple who always buys first class seats, but then give them up to someone else as they’re boarding the plane, servicemen, for instance.
The second story could’ve had me raising my hand, but I offered up more of a raised chin and eyebrows with a slight nod instead. I wasn’t recalling “Les Mis” all that well — mostly that the main guy’s last name seemed to repeat his first name, and a dramatic song while under siege. Ah, yes, the candlesticks he “forgot.” The “lavished gifts” made him a new man indeed — ransoming our former bad guy from fear and hatred, having him take off to a new and higher calling.
We were advised on general principle and with religious underpinnings to accept all the upgrades life has to offer.
It wasn’t exactly an upgrade, but perhaps hearing things more clearly — mostly literally, I did compliment the pianist — I dared accept what seemed like a worshipful invitation to intone the lower echo phrase of “with my soul” during the last hymn about things being well. Hopefully, a first class approach.