Sunday Summary 3.18.2012- “Birthday Edition”
What an unusual day we had at Victory yesterday…I never thought I would attend my own funeral, but during last night’s service, that was the case…more on that in a moment! Here are some random as well as candid thoughts from yesterday at VBC.
- Upon first glance, it seemed as if we were down in numbers a bit in the auditorium, and we might have been, but if filled up nicely when the choir came down.
- We had more first time guests yesterday, which is always a good thing.
- I felt a little “scrambled” yesterday delivering the AM message. Kinda’ struggled staying on task and felt like my transitions weren’t that great either. Even finished a little earlier than normal…always glad for more Sundays!
- Music was good however…thanks choir and orchestra!
- The church “threw me off” by giving me a birthday card with some gift cards stuffed in it…and yes, I will be celebrating my 40th birthday this Thursday, the 22nd. I was very grateful and graciously assumed they recognized it during the AM service…boy, was I wrong!
- Upon entering the auditorium for the 6 PM service, I realized the celebration had only begun…
- for starters, the lights were only at a dim, there were candles burning down front on the altar and EVERYONE was dressed in black! Several even had hats with black veils and many were waving their handkerchiefs or tissues and dabbing the corners of their eyes as if they were mourning. My family, (along with some extended family who came) were all seated down front and all I could hear was my mom wailing, “He was such a good boy!” Let me tell you, it was a sight to behold!
- Assistant Pastor, Josh Ayers then began to proceed with the church announcements, delivered in “eulogy” style! Comments like, “Well, today we have church spring cleaning, and you know our Pastor sure liked those days, gathering and cleaning with the church family” and “In two weeks we’ll start men’s softball, again, one of Pastor Lawrence’s favorite things to do!” and my personal favorite, “Next Tuesday the senior adults will be having Day with Pastor and whereas Pastor used to like to take the seniors, he now is one!”…and he kept going!
- They then asked me to come sit in my chair on the platform, which was actually decorated like a coffin, complete with black fabric, candles and fake funeral flowers! My pulpit was decorated with everything indicating someone had passed. It was pretty morbid but hilarious, I’ll admit.
- The congregational songs and choir songs were all sung directed at me…songs with lyrics like, “It’s Almost Over”, “In the Sweet By and By” and “I’ll Fly Away”. The whole time, people were “boo hoo-ing” and hunching over…I’m really surprised at the participation of so many, especially those whom normally wouldn’t “act” that way…it was hilarious! I told them I could only hope that they would miss me that much when I’m gone!
- Following the service, they had a huge church-wide birthday party for me downstairs where much fun was had…again at my expense! I even had a “coffin cake” from the Youth Ministry, beautifully done might I add!
- Many gave gifts and cards and truly, I am very grateful and appreciative for the entire evening! It made the 40th, “over the hill” birthday quite fun actually!
- I found out later that night, my wife was the lead instigator and oh, I can’t wait till May 24th when she reaches the big 4-0!
- Josh Ayers preached and shared slides from his recent trip to Israel…wow, what an incredible presentation, I felt like I was really there…thank you so much Josh, and great message!
Church, I love you so much…thank you for such a great memory! It’s great to be a part of VBC!