We hope to see you at Grace Church this Sunday morning or sometime soon.
If you were there just last week, we hope you’ll always be a regular.
If it’s been a while, we’ll welcome you back. It’s always a good time to become a regular.
And every church is different.
The size and shape and look of every church are different. Some have soaring stained glass windows. Others have paintings or sculptures or other artwork.
Some churches have a booming organ, or a large choir loft, or an area for a pit band.
Some churches are built in a rounder shape while others are rectangular. Some buildings are in the shape of a cross.
And every church has its eccentricities.
Some churches have pews that feel like you’re in a comfy recliner, while others have hard benches apparently designed to keep you awake.
One area church has rocking chairs in the back row of the building.
Some churches have plush carpet while others have creaky floorboards. No sneaking around in those churches.
What about Grace Church?
Well, the next time you come there’s something you absolutely need to do...
Go to the bathroom.
Yes, we’re serious. And no, we’re not kidding.
Go to the bathroom.
Now you can “go” for real – after all, that’s why we have the facilities in the first place.
Or just make a casual visit. If you’ve never visited the Grace bathrooms, now you can check that off your bucket list. (And if this is really ON your bucket list, we need to talk...)
No, the church council hasn’t splurged for fancy toilets or an automated paper towel dispenser or hands free anything.
Instead you’ll find interesting reading material there that will keep your attention while you’re busy with those bodily functions. Right on the wall.
It’s a monthly one page newsletter filled with interesting brief stories of the religious kind. Some will make you laugh, others will make you think.
The current edition posted in the water closets doesn’t disappoint. One story tells the tale of Rembrandt’s famous painting The Three Crosses. What draws your attention in the picture? Is it the three crosses? Or is that Rembrandt himself along the edge of the painting?
Another story is called Humble Thoughts. And in this day and age of bombastic politicians on both sides, or over celebratory athletes, or entertainment stars who crave the cameras and spotlight, humble thoughts sometimes get lost in the glare.
There’s a quote from D.L. Moody, a famous American evangelist from the 1800’s...
“A good many are kept out of the service of Christ, deprived of the luxury of working for God, because they are trying to do some great thing. Let us be willing to do little things. And let us remember that nothing is small in which God is the source.”
From the famous Mother Teresa – “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”
Not everyone has to be the star. And everyone can do small things.
Corrie ten Boom was a brave Dutch Christian woman and later author who shielded Jews in her home during World War II before being captured by the Nazis and sent to a concentration camp. Through a quirk of fate she was released just a week before all of the other women in the camp were sent to the gas chambers.
After the war Corrie started a rehab center and forgave some of those who held her captive. She wrote a famous book, The Hiding Place, about her experiences, and traveled the world as a sought after speaker.
Currently on our bathroom wall is a story of hers...
“When I saw Sadhu Sundar Singh (an early 20th century Indian Christian missionary) in Europe, he had completed a world tour. People asked him, ‘doesn’t it do harm, getting so much honor?’ The Sadhu’s answer was ‘No. The donkey went into Jerusalem, and they put garments on the ground before him. He was not proud. He knew it was not done to honor him, but for Jesus, who was sitting on his back. When people honor me, I know it is not me but the Lord, who does the job.’”
Remember the donkey and his sacrifice. If there’s a beautiful pasture in Heaven, he’s there right now, for the small humble job he did.
And the last quote is from Father Daniel Berrigan, a famed Jesuit priest and pacifist who protested the Vietnam War and forced torture, among other things. His humble quote is...
“If you are going to follow Jesus, you’d better look good on wood.”
Ouch. To the point.
Imagine that – great thoughts and inspiration from the bathroom wall. Not the scrawled kind, more the poignant kind.
So when you visit Grace Church, hopefully this week or sometime soon, take a minute to make that trek to the bathroom. Use it or not, that’s up to you. And if there’s a line...well, just be patient...
Bucket list – CHECK!
From George Churchgoer