Darlington County, we need to come together
By Rev. Tim Coker, Senior Pastor,
Central Baptist Church, Darlington
“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now …” — Hebrews 10:25 (NLT)
I am writing from my office, the morning after a ministers’ breakfast. I guess you could consider this breakfast quasi-regular, in that we have scheduled them on a regular basis.
But they are usually sporadically attended, hit and miss, and somewhat focused on community services/events. I need to be transparent with you all — have not been an overly committed part of this group.
This breakfast was no different than others before. There was the food – omelets, grits, the “breakfast special” and one “LT” sandwich (the bacon was omitted). There was a task – we needed to plan the National Day of Prayer. There was the usually sporadic crowd – several of our friends were unable to be there – with around seven of us present. By the way, the seven of us represented different denominations, different races and different genders. A few of us have known each other for years. There were a couple of new faces, also.
I can feel you thinking, “Okay, Tim, what’s the point?” (Hang in there, I have two of them.)
It was a normal ministers’ breakfast … and then something happened! It was as if The Lord Himself pulled up a chair and joined the group.
The entire direction of our time together changed! Our body language changed! Our conversation changed! We started talking about prayer. We shared stories of what He’s done. We started asking deep questions. We gave thanks. We shed some tears. WE CHANGED!
We all had to leave, eventually, and get back to our real jobs, but not before one last challenge, one last encouragement, one last prayer and many hugs!
You need to know that I am not a mystic and that I know my theology. I believe in the omnipresence of God. In other words, I know He is always there … and that He doesn’t pull up a chair at breakfast, or does He? (Read John 21:9-12.)
You have to admit, however, that there are times He’s in our midst in a new, refreshing way. You can’t schedule, predict or control them, but when those times happen …WE CHANGE!
“The point, Tim? Get to the point!” Oh yeah, two of them:
First, (gulp!) we need to come together. That means me. That means you. We need to sit around the tables across the county and share, talk, give thanks and pray. Our community will never come together until we … come together!
Second, (gulp! gulp!) we need to recommit ourselves to Sunday church service … in person!
We need to, as I was taught by my parents, “Wake up, Get up, Dress up and Show up!” It’s the perfect time of the year to renew our attendance as we head toward Easter. For many, it will be a quasi-regular trip to church. But if we’re looking (I mean really looking), we just might catch a glimpse of something else at the empty tomb. We might just see a Chair!
Well, gotta go! Someone’s just entered the office … and she can use a hug! Happy Easter!