Yesterday was a first for me. I was invited to preach the sermon at the Sunday morning worship service at Iglesia de la Comunidad, a Hispanic Baptist church in Burlington. It was a first in the sense of it was the first time I ever preached with a translator. This experience brought a whole new process of thought to sermon preparation and to sermon delivery that I am not sure I ever got completely comfortable with. However, the congregation was very gracious and patient, and I hope that maybe some of my words are able to be used.
At the close of the service, the church celebrated communion. This was the first time in the 1+ year history of the church that they celebrated communion. They asked us if we had any music that they could play in the CD player while communion was served. Amy went out to the car and the only thing she could find was a CD with Chris Tomlin's "Amazing Grace/My Chains are Gone" on it. They started the CD while the bread and cup were being passed out. We ate the bread, and then the minister instructed us to drink the cup. As the juice touched our lips, these were the words coming through on the CD player.
"My chains are gone,
I've been set free.
My God, my Savior has ransomed me.
And like a flood,
His mercy rains
Unending love, amazing grace."
After all had partaken of communion, we took time to go around and share the love of Christ with one another. Complete strangers came and hugged me and Amy and shared a blessing with us. People really acted like they had been set free.