As I was getting ready that morning, I felt a strong leading to show a video presentation for the offering. The particular video on my mind was one that I had put together for Easter last year (or maybe even two years ago; I don't remember). Anyway, I debated whether or not to do it. After all, it was Palm Sunday not Easter Sunday. Wouldn't it be strange to show an Easter presentation a week early? I argued. But I couldn't shake the feeling that I should do it. When I asked Jason his opinion, he agreed that I should do it. Only later did I understand what God was doing.
As we sang the first congregational song (which I pick out each week), the voices of the church rang out. "Take the name of Jesus with you. . . Precious name, oh how sweet!" When the pastor stepped to the pulpit immediately following the song, he was laughing. "I love how the Lord works," he said. "This morning the title of my message is "Jesus is the Sweetest Name I Know." As he chuckled, I realized he had no idea what other "coincidences" (NOT!) the morning held.
The choir song -- "Because He Lives," which begins "God sent His Son, they called Him Jesus") -- hmm, there's that name.
The second congregation song -- "Oh, How I Love Jesus," which begins, "There is a name I love to hear; I love to speak its worth. It sounds like music in my ear, the sweetest name on earth." -- Okay, getting spooky now.
The offertory presentation -- My Name Is Jesus
Let me just say, there was some serious chuckling going on, but amid the laughter, we were marveling. While God's work in our church service may not have seemed comparable to the Red Sea crossing or the crumbling of Jericho's walls, I believe that it was equally as great. God used three different people to create a church service that lifted high the name of Jesus. Every song prepared our hearts to receive the message, and because they were so entwined, it was almost like hearing the message over and over again.
After the service, the pastor asked me, "Did somebody tell you what I was going to preach on?" I laughed and shook my head, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized Somebody did tell me. I just didn't realize it. It was no coincidence I chose those particular congregational songs, and it wasn't until we were singing them that I realized their common theme. It was no accident that I felt such a strong urging to show that video during the offering time. God was working in what we would call the "small details." But one thing this has reminded me of is that these things are not small to God. The name of Jesus was lifted high over and over again, and that is a big deal! We have no trouble remembering that nothing is too big for God, but I think we sometimes forget that nothing (or no one) is too small either. God used a little church in a big way this weekend, and I know of at least one life that was impacted because of it.