I remember as a small child meeting each week in a cinderblock building painted whiter than fresh milk. Our little building was home to about sixty people who made their living as dairy farmers, ranchers, teachers and small business owners.
There was a great deal of love in that little congregation. I attended class every Sunday morning and learned Bible stories as a teacher would stick flannelgraph characters to a giant piece of felt. During worship I would sing the songs from an old brown book that had probably been in the backs of the pews for generations. I would stare up at the twirling ceiling fans during the sermons and watch with interest as the adults ate the Lord’s Supper. My favorite time was after service when I would slide my four-year-old body on the linoleum under the wooden pews from one end of the auditorium to the other.
I don’t think it ever crossed my mind where all of the material things around me originated. I never thought about who paid for the cinderblocks, ceiling fans, pews, linoleum and flannelgraph. I am sure I also never thought of the expense involved in the Lord’s Supper.
I am thankful to those farmers and shop owners who sacrificed so we could worship many years ago. I am thankful that they made sure that God’s people would have a place to invite their friends to worship and learn about Jesus.
It was in that building, purchased by other people, that I have my earliest memories of worship, prayer, fellowship and most importantly, Jesus. Thank you for your sacrifice and foresight.