Morning worship is my favorite part of the day in the Smith house. Some mornings instead of our usual worship music, the kids and I decide which country we want to worship "with" and then we scour youtube for videos from that country. We love seeing how different people enjoy the LORD. When we were in the States, African worship was one of our favorite. We'd crowd around a computer screen and listen to African churches sing out praise. Sometimes we'd sing along.
Today, for the first time, I sat in an African church and worshiped beside my Guinean brothers and sisters. I was so close I could touch them...and I did. It was almost too much for me to bear.
I had arrived about ten minutes before the African friend who'd invited me. While I waited outside for her, I noticed a little Sunday school class let out. They sat on wooden benches with sheets for walls. I almost felt sorry for them but then caught myself. That's what church is like here. It's different.
I continued watching as people buzzed around, talking to their friends and chasing their kids. That's what church is like here. It's the same.
My friend arrived and escorted me into the sanctuary, seating me in the front-- a place of honor, I found out later. For over two hours I sat in the place of honor and that is exactly what it was. That I was allowed into their lives and their meeting, was an honor.
Colorful material and ribbons hung on the walls, a stark contrast to the desperate condition of the building. There was no air conditioning, cushioned seats, or decorative crosses. Across the front of the sanctuary, they had painted the name JESUS in large letters.
I do not think there is a cathedral in all the world that could rival this church in beauty.
When the service began, the very first Scripture they read was from Psalm 133. It begins this way, "How good and how pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity".