An African guest at our church stood in front of the congregation this morning, reading…no, proclaiming…today’s New Testament selection. His richly-accented English brought the passage alive for me in a fresh way.
It was verse 15 that struck me: “As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food’“. Even if our reader came from a densely-populated urban center, the word “villages” went 3-D in my minds’ eye. I could taste the dust of the roads into the distant villages, feel the slant of the sun as it moved toward the horizon, and hear the sound of hundreds of “What’s for dinner?” and “Who is He?” conversations swirling in the air.
So this was a cool little moment. But what was really interesting was what happened just a few minutes later. Because the church was so crowded this morning, Bill and I didn’t sit in our usual spot. We even joked about it with the woman sitting behind us before the service started. At the mid-point of the service, when we greet each other/pass the peace of Christ, this woman grabbed me and said, “This morning, I thought about what it must be like to hear the Old Testament reading from your perspective as a Jewish believer. Wow…” Her voice trailed off.
God used us broken eikons to bring His Word to life for each other this morning.
You ever had something like this happen when Scripture is read (proclaimed!) at your church?