WHEN I WORSHIP (part 6+) “The Trinity’s Trifecta”

WHEN I WORSHIP (Part 6 +)—“The Trinity’s Trifecta”

As you can imagine, I’m not a betting man.  Well I used to be, but I lost that bet and then the one after that.  So I gave up betting for Lent one year and then didn’t add it back into daily life after that…NOTE:  Do you know of this tradition?  Giving something up for Lent means you never go back?  Well, there is such a thing so this Spring…be mindful of what you dismiss…or you can do as I have done now for over 25 years and that is add something to your life that you don’t normally do thus enhancing some of the existing ‘goodness’ of your life as you know it…and heck by the time Holy Week rolls around some folks may see a wonderful change in you… 

O yeah…I’m not a betting man but I do know a little of the lingo…like win, place, show and perfectas and exactas and TRIFECTAs…but the last ones always sounded like a cigar so I didn’t get too close to that window…

Maybe a Trifecta is like a ‘hat trick.” — a hockey term…when you get the 3rd goal of the game…but actually what it means is that a bettor picks the three winners (horses or greyhounds!) of the race AND in the correct order…and you guessed it…odds are greater and so is the return…

So, you wanna make a bet where I went to worship over the last 3 Sundays? It may not be the horse race you thought…

The weekend after Cowboy Church I still hadn’t decided where I would attend worship…but Margo and I had tickets to Pearland Dawson high school’s theater presentation of “GODSPELL” for Saturday night at 7 PM.  That immediately ruled out a Saturday night service and let me tell you…after we attended the event, I made a conscious choice to stay home Sunday morning and didn’t even look for a Sunday evening service on the web.  Really.  And this is why…or at least to me…it’s just this simple…

I knew the story and I knew the songs.  The story and the songs rocked me to my faith core.  I didn’t know any of the students (my wife did so I knew a couple by association…) but I knew the story…and even though the cast put a very contemporary spin on the dialogue…including a couple of “YO, YO, YOs…” before making an announcement…the story of Jesus according to the Gospel of Matthew (with a little sprinkling of Luke and John!) took me to the key message of the New Testament…God is for us…

So, in reality the sermon that night was long, they got my offering at the door when I showed up (tix were at ‘will call) and the “preachers” got a standing ‘O’ at the conclusion…and my heart was so stirred that I really didn’t think that going to a local church would be ‘best practice’ for me that would enhance my sense of awe of God…and so that was Sunday # 6!

The following week, everything changed.  Again, I found myself thinking about heading out to one of the REALLY BIG churches…Sagemont, Grace, Lakewood, or Fellowship of the Woodlands (well they did send me a postcard a few years ago inviting me to Easter Sunday service and stay after for the FREE baptism!) just to experience walking into such a thing…but the phone rang on Wednesday and a familiar voice was on the other line…

Seems a friend of our family (and they live far far away in another county…) had a special question for me…it was one of those kinds of questions I hear from others like…”I know you are busy but…” kind of questions…and this one went…”well I know you are on sabbatical…and I don’t know if you are in Texas or some place else…” but… and then the question came following the brief description of a young couples’ life circumstances… so here’s your choices…

  1. The young man has been diagnosed with a dreadful disease and the young woman he was to marry went AWOL; or
  2. The young man got into some steep trouble with the law and the woman he wants to marry is pregnant; or
  3. The young woman is pregnant and just lost her job and the guy she wants to marry is in rehab for 20 more days; or
  4. The woman is pregnant; she doesn’t know for certain who the father is but she likes this one guy who said he would marry her…

You make the call…and which ever you pick…one of the above, all of the above or none of the above (as the 5th story is even worse) understand that the couple is going to end up in front of the JP if someone like me can’t officiate the wedding…

So, I hopped in the car and drove…ended up at the hotel on Saturday and met the couple to talk about a) ‘what is’; b) what they want; and c) what they plan to do to get from a –> b and not let the current circumstances determine the outcome…kind of like that old line on the attendance card in the pew rack… “Our quality of life is not determined by the things that happen to us; but rather by our response to those things and our faith in Jesus Christ.”  And that’s one thing I can bet on.

So, I went to church on Sunday…I preached and I shared the sacrament of Holy Communion…I even wore my vestments and I pronounced them husband and wife and I told them (along with their family and friends…

  1.  No matter what, God will not let them go;
  2. God’s grace is always enough to hide our eyes from the past; and
  3. God’s grace is sufficient to thrust us into a new time; and
  4. That I would pray that neither of them get out of this marriage alive!

 The family appreciated the last one the most…

 And so over the past few weeks I RE-learned a few things again…That…

  •  God would show up in the strangest of places…a high school theater and in the front yard of trailer house parked way out in the country at the end of a dirt road;
  • God’s people come in all shapes and sizes and different ages and with different backgrounds and certainly with a different set of circumstances along with different and unique desires and longings;
  • God can provide a variety of ways to enhance our sense of being connected to him and his kingdom.  They cannot always be the substitute for hanging out with God’s people in God’s house but at least when we know where we have come from, it’s not so difficult to find our way back…

And that leads me to the 3rd place of worship…this past Sunday I attended one of the ‘satellites” being formed by another Houston  area church…the music was good…they got my offering before the preaching and the pastor led the people there through a 3 fold…3 time altar call to come and be baptized…thatvery day… and that experience will require a whole post all by itself…and you CAN bet on that… 

Thanks to all of you for your prayers and your comments…as I write this I see that my sabbatical time is coming to an end…with the bulk of the time in my rear view mirror… So…see you soon…we’ll have lot’s to talk about, I’m sure…

         Brian

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About briangigee

Loves life; lives love! Bud and Doris' eldest son. Descendant of 'refiners' and 'reformers.' Husband to Margo. Father of 5. Grandfather to 2. Brother, uncle, friend and colleague. Working parish pastor. Became a naturalized Texan in February 2013.
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3 Responses to WHEN I WORSHIP (part 6+) “The Trinity’s Trifecta”

  1. Carole Wright says:

    You are amazing. You can put your feelings on “paper” so beautifully. The experience I got from GODSPELL is beyond my vocabulary.
    As for giving something up for Lent, well I gave up eating peas (YUCK) and never went back to that either. ;o)
    Keep on enjoying the rest of your sabatical. We miss you. Prayers and blessings to you.

  2. johan bergh says:

    I bet I read your postings in the baptisms when you post them.

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