Churches of Christ offering livestream worship
Yes, COVID-19 has most of us homebound on Sunday morning.…
After I paid a virtual visit to my home congregation in Georgia last week, sister Debbie Sims invited me to head south to Rockledge, Fla., on the Atlantic coast, and visit the Fiske Boulevard Church of Christ. Her husband, Randy Cole Sims Sr., is the senior minister.
I found a recent service on the church’s Facebook page. They’ve resumed limited, in-person gatherings but continue to livestream and offer communion supplies to those worshiping online.
This church loves to sing! From the opening moments until brother Sims’ sermon there was a continual flow of praise toward heaven, including hymns like “Everybody Will Be Happy Over There,” “Kneel at the Cross,” and “Oh, I Want to See Him.” It was a bit hard to tell who’s leading singing. The gentleman leading the opening prayer went right into a song. Those serving the Lord’s Supper took their places while singing.
Brother Sims began by addressing the two plagues our nation faces right now — the plague of injustice and violence evidenced by the death of George Floyd and the COVID-19 pandemic. On the former, he offered the apostle Paul’s words from Ephesians 4:26, “Be ye angry, and sin not.”
He also discussed the continued need for caution and social distancing — realities that are hard to bear when there’s such a desire right now for all of us to embrace each other. We need hugs! Sims called for patience and prayer.
The Sunday sermon focused on “Crisis in Jesus Christ’s Life” based on Matthew 27:46.” It’s definitely worth a listen.
I scrolled down the church’s Facebook page and found a sermon title that caught my eye — “A Frog in the Master Bathroom.” It’s from the church’s radio broadcast.
Brother Sims related (with conviction) his recent encounter with a frog in his toilet. Evidently this is common in coastal Florida.
“He was making himself comfortable,” he said. “I had to assess the matter. What is he going to do? He’s in the toilet but I know he’s a frog, and frogs jump and they move and they have … range and all of that. And I know I can’t leave him right there because my bride was still in the bed. It was going to be a problem if he was still there by the time I left because she wasn’t going to … aw, somebody ought to say, ‘Amen!’”
He skillfully equated this situation with Paul’s words from Galatians 6:1, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”
Basically, when we encounter sin in our lives or sin in the church, it must be dealt with, much like a frog in a toilet. We can’t just leave it there and hope it hops away before our loved ones wake up.
I can attest to that. Back in 2004 I visited the South American nation of Guyana to report on Churches of Christ there. In the town of Mabaruma I stayed at a guesthouse and found a tiny, adorable tree frog in my toilet. I decided to just let it stay there.
The next morning, as I got ready to take a shower, it leaped out of the toilet and bounced off of me before disappearing. I responded with a very impassioned yelp that likely woke the rest of the guests in the guesthouse.
The sin may seem small, but you may be surprised by its range and agility.
I have nothing against frogs, by the way.
Where should I virtually visit next? Leave suggestions in the comments.
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