Today was a very unusual day at our church.
There was no sermon.
Instead, there was a celebration and honoring of the relationships God has instituted in our lives.
First the teams that go out each week or every other week to minister in nursing homes were called to the front in recognition of the one year anniversary of this ministry. Those teams were prayed for and commissioned for another year of service.
Next, one couple came forward to renew their wedding vows. Their two grade school age children were their "attendants." It was precious.
Then three young children, not babies but young children were dedicated to the Lord. These children are from families who have just recently made the Lord the center of their lives and since they were never dedicated as babies, they were now. Never too late!
After that, one lady was baptized and a gentleman was brought into church membership.
For each of these people, whether renewing vows, being dedicated, being baptized, or brought into church membership pastor had a special verse for them to take as their life verse.
Then, to close the service, anyone in the congregation who wished to receive Aaron's blessing was invited to make a procession up the center aisle to the pastor where they would be anointed with oil, prayed over, and given Aaron's blessing.
There was a holy hush amongst us as we nearly all came forward.
Then pastor (in the beard) placed his hand on our shoulder and said these words from Numbers 6:24-26 over each of us individually:
"The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you; and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace."
And I say, "Amen."
His presence was surely there with us.