[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrNHQ8r248g] I am an accidental Methodist.
Our kids picked our church, after attending a youth event there with friends. At the time, we were in the midst of a transition from overseas back to Dallas, and I was at the end of my rope. We had moved internationally five times in three years, and two of those moves had been under crisis conditions. For one move, we were given 15 minutes notice to get to the port, board a ship, and leave the country. So many scary things had happened in the life of our family that if someone asked me, "How are you?" I would cry.
Our kids went there, and felt so loved and cared for, that they pretty much insisted that this was their church. I think they might have walked there without us if we hadn't seen it their way.
One of my favorite things about our church is the altar rail. I grew up in churches where there was an invitation, but if you were "saved" there was no reason to go down front ever again. At our church, the altar rail is open for everybody. Any Sunday, you can go to the altar, no questions asked. In fact, the "saved" are there more often than the "unsaved."
The assumption is that we will all need help at some point. (Probably more often than we want to admit.) We know that the best place to get that help is on our knees. And when blessings come into our lives, the best place to give thanks is on our knees. I have been at that altar in tears and confusion, and I have been there in joy and thanksgiving. Every time I'm at the altar, I feel like I'm coming home to a safe place and loving arms.
A few weeks ago, I started working as a volunteer chaplain at a local hospital. When I ask people what I can do for them, so often they'll say, "I just need prayer."
There's something powerful about being at that place in your life--whether you're at an altar rail, in a hospital bed, or in a counseling room--where you just know that you need to be on your knees. Where you come to the end of yourself and your own efforts, and put yourself on your knees.
Elisabeth Elliot said it this way. "There is no hope for any of us until we confess our helplessness. Then we are in a position to receive grace. So long as we see ourselves as competent, we do not qualify."
For the incompetent, the helpless, the hopeless, the confused, there is a invitation to rest and find healing and hope. On your knees, before the God who has loved you with an everlasting love.
(I hope you enjoy this music from Seryn.)