Have you ever been really surprised by a sermon? I was.

Have you ever heard a sermon from someone whom you haven’t really been impressed with in the past, but this time you find yourself blessed?

That happened to me this past Sunday.

First, you should know we attend three different churches. We are members of just one though, the largest of the three. For the past few years, we’ve had a pastor that was not well-received by many. A lot of people left but my husband and I stayed. The pastor ended up leaving under a ”cloud” and we are presently looking for a replacement.

Church number two. Last summer my husband was in the hospital and the hospital chaplain made a visit. He mentioned he was also a pastor at a small church and we liked him so much we decided to check it out the next Sunday.

(Even when we get a new pastor, we will continue to visit this church now and then. We have told the pastor and his wife how we are dividing up our time and they are fine with it.)

There are maybe thirty people on their best day. They are really genuine and friendly and we love his sermons. He’s funny, very personable, and very much a “real” person. His authenticity shines through his sermons.

Church number three. When we’re at our cabin we attend another small (under one hundred members) church. We love the pastor’s sermons here as well. His sermons are much more expository in nature and he always makes us think. He really does his research.

So that’s how we’ve come to attend three different churches. We will probably never do it any other way from now on. We love learning from three very different, but very good pastors.

But now back to that Sunday at our little church.

The regular pastor wasn’t there so there was a guest speaker. We had heard him once before and found him a bit on the uninspiring side. OK, but nothing that caught our attention.

This time was different though. He spoke about prayer and it was a great sermon. He asked some questions of the congregation and because the church is so small and everyone is really comfortable with each other, a number of people answered. What some of them shared was simple and profound at the same time. It was wonderful.

I wasn’t expecting that I would learn anything new because it was a topic I am very familiar with. Prayer is a subject I am always thinking about, reading about, and trying to get better at all the time so it would take a lot to make me stand up and take notice. But here I was taking profuse notes. It wasn’t profound but it was honest and real and heartfelt.

It really wasn’t anything new and yet it was. I think it was the combination of his sermon and the simple honesty of the people who spoke that blessed my heart.

I love it when God shows up like that.

I love it when I am surprised.

Don’t you?

God bless and have a good day.

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