Monday, September 24, 2007

The 68th good thing about Lagos: Sunday symbols and sacraments

At church on Sunday we again had no power, so it was challenging to deal with the heavy air with no ceiling fans, it as difficult to hear the quieter speakers, and we had no keyboard working, so the music was acapella. Our music director pitches the singing of the hymns so low that at times I'm frustrated because I enjoy singing alto and sometimes, even with my low voice, it's a stretch to sing the melody because it's so low. But I've found that the Nigerians find some interesting ways to harmonize, no matter how low the melody is. I've learned to sing the alto or another part above the melody and even if sometimes it's difficult to find the part and harmonize with the often creative things they do to the melody, it makes the hymns different and fun. Because I wasn't needed at the keyboard, I found a seat near an open door to get a breeze. My pictures are not so good because of the backlighting, but I wanted to share anyway some of what I saw and what I was thinking. (fyi: pictures were taken AFTER the meeting)

There was a window beside the door looking out onto the courtyard, with a wall topped with razor wire. As we sang the sacrament hymn "no crown of thorns, no cruel cross could make our great Redeemer shun -- he counted His own will but naught and said 'Thy will alone be done.'" I noticed how the rings of barbed wire reminded me of the crown of thorns.

During the sacrament, we had a lovely little rainshower which got a little cooling breeze going. I was thinking of the Savior, who is the living water, and gives life to the world. I noticed the bright green of the weeds and moss in the cracks of the courtyard paving stones. Then in Sunday School, we were studying Hebrews and I came across the verse: Hebrew 6:7 "For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God."
I'm grateful that here I can go to church and receive the emblems of the Sacrament and renew my commitment to follow Jesus Christ and that even in Nigeria in a church with a shabby courtyard inside a wall topped with razor wire, there is evidence of the Savior, if I have eyes to see.

1 comment:

Erin said...

I enjoyed your insight... it does seem like the people who have the least are always more grateful than those who have the most. We definitely are spoiled with our beautiful, air-conditioned building, but I always try to remember to thank the Lord for the opportunity that we have to worship freely and without fear. Thanks for this post... made me think.