Monday, July 02, 2007

the church of the redeemed

I had the great privilege of attending an unusual church service yesterday.

And I had the great joy of hearing the testimonies and witnessing the baptisms of about a dozen folks during that service.

What made this service so special was the fact that nearly all of those who were baptized in the mighty Columbia river were homeless. Or formerly so. The congregations was comprised of prostitues and preachers, sex addicts and Sunday school teachers.

And Jesus was there, too.

There was such a rawness in their testimonies and an exuberance in their confession of Jesus Christ as Lord. They welcomed that watery grave of baptism as death to their old lives and the beginning of something wonderfully new.

Joy exploded. Hoped abounded. Love knit our hearts together as we laughed and wept, often at the same time.

You could almost hear the angels cheering as each precious soul entered into the family of God . . .