Weekly Devotional

You Had to Be There…

Reflection by Vanessa Rose

I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”


Remember that time in the 90’s when Chapin let the youth group play baseball in the sanctuary? (Okay, okay, – it was wiffle ball and nothing broke.)

Remember that Easter Sunday in the 80’s when the children’s choir fell to pieces laughing on the way into the sanctuary and not one of us could sing a single note?

Remember the time (times?) a flash mob took over the chancel with people from all over the sanctuary joining in?

These are, “you had to be there” moments – and you were – many of you – for some or all of these experiences. And I am sure you have many of your own that I missed since I moved away. That is the kind of place Village Church is. You just had to be there. I think that is pretty unusual for a community to feel that way about things that happen on their chancel steps.

There are sacred moments that will always happen at the front of the church: weddings, baptisms, funerals, words and sacraments. It is a holy place, full of the gravity of these vows and experiences. This could have made it too forbidding a place for someone like me to envision standing never mind speaking. But the chancel steps were always the opposite of forbidding.

I think this why Village Church raises up so many ministers – the chancel steps are the kind of place where we are all just comfortable, and it is abundantly clear that it will be made none the less holy for the games, laughter, and dancing - - none the less holy for our being there. This also speaks to who we believe God is and how God loves us. God welcomes each of us up to the Holy of Holies just as we are and accepts our praises – simple, humble, or unusual though they might be. You just have to be there.

Prayer: Holy God, May the words of our mouths, the meditations of our hearts, and everything else we offer up for the love of You be acceptable in Your sight, our Rock and our Redeemer. Amen

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