At church, either the material or mystical can keep you from drifting too far. Perhaps there's something about the building itself - the vault of the ceiling or the unique olfactory blend of wood polish and incense - that invites you to become present. You might notice how change in vestment colors shifts your sense of season. Sometimes the rhythm of the lector's voice recaptures your attention to God's Word. At other times, music transports you deeper into the land of worship. You might find yourself mindlessly reciting the profession of faith when suddenly a word, phrase or entire section comes to life - your present life in a new way . . . All of it - the physical structure of God's house and the rituals performed within it - serves to shepherd your meandering mind.
-- Meredith Gould, The Catholic Home: Celebrations & Traditions for Holidays, Feast Days & Every Day
Though the above quote comes from a Catholic resource and I don't happen to be Catholic, I've found inspiration in the thoughts that it's brought forth in my own life of faith. In fact, the quote has inspired me to keep a little running list in a notebook under the title: "Sunday Shepherding." You'll find below my list of nuggets that I've discovered each week during worship, whether we happen to be at our own church, our little mountain church, or ministering at one of the local nursing homes. Looking for a nugget of truth that really resonates with me gives my mind something specific on which to meditate and allows my heart to be shepherded by it. The practice has truly become a source of joy and delight to mine out each week. I record the nuggets and then peruse the list to be inspired and encouraged yet again at a later date.
8/10/14 - Amy's special music with the line: All I have need of, His hand will provide. He's always been faithful to me.
8/17/14 - Dale's encouragement during his message at Broadmore to "to let God be God in your life."
8/24/14 - Jonah's special music with the line from My Jesus, I Love Thee: I love Thee for wearing the thorns on thy brow.
8/31/14 - Legally-blind Mark who memorizes the Scripture reading and his sermon to give that day
9/7/14 - Barb's coconut zucchini bread during an incredible interactive Sunday school hour on covenants
9/21/14 - Marty's object lesson with a mouse trap and taking the bait of an offense - the perfect picture