“The Day They Came Running”
As a pastor I often try to imagine what it must have been like for Jesus. When he went to some places, they asked him to leave. The religious leaders despised him and called him names. After Jesus became well known to the people, would spontaneously surround him. I’ve often thought that as soon it was learned that Jesus was near, people would hurry to go to him to hear him share the Good News. It’s not a stretch to believe that people would get excited and run to see him. We know that Zacchaeus climbed a tree to hear and see Jesus.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see people so excited to hear about Jesus that they would come running?
Patty and I had a wonderful experience a couple of Saturdays ago. We were taking our Super Bus into a new community. This mobile home park has had 3 murders there in the last couple of years. Regardless, we felt God’s direction and so we moved forward. On Thursday evening Patty and I went through the park announcing that we would be there the following Saturday with the Super Bus. We explained what we would be teaching and doing.
When we drove into the community on Saturday, a woman came running toward the bus, hollering for us to wait up. She asked what time were we going to start and could she come and help? That was great! We’ve never had anyone to do that. So we left her and went a little further. Then another woman followed by a little boy came running to stop us. She also wanted to know where we were going to be and she wanted to help, too!
Then we were stopped by a young man. He said, “I’ve seen this bus in here a couple of times. What are you doing? I told him about our Super Bus Ministry. He seemed pleased, bid me farewell, then went on his way.
Patty and I and the two new friends who we met earlier were at an empty lot. We were setting up tables, our shelter and the bus.
The young man who had stopped the bus came to talk to me. He said, “Pastor if I wasn’t drinking, I wouldn’t be talking to you. I’m extremely shy.” Then he said, “I’m an alcoholic, I’ve tried everything, AA just everything.” I told him about Jesus and how I had seen the Lord deliver people. I asked if we could pray for him. He agreed. There in an open field, he held my hand. On the other side he held Patty’s hand and both Patty and I held the hands of our new friends. Our new friends held the hands of the children who had arrived early. We prayed for deliverance and hope for our new friend, Willis.
When all the children arrived (most came with their parents), we played games, did a craft and shared Jesus.
In closing, Patty had all the parents and all the children and me following her in a line dancing and jumping and celebrating Jesus in a song. We were not in a church building, we were in a vacant lot. We were where everyone could see us, but we didn't care. It felt so right. It felt like church.
I just imagine if the Lord was looking on He’d think, “Now that’s a beautiful sight.”
What a day!! It was the day that they came running!