An invitation from John and Viola Lentink for Friday evening
Their living room can surely hold 60 people. And sitting on their floor squeezed side-by-side one can feel solidarity with sardines in a tin. John and Viola Lentink have issued an invitation for a “Noche de Alabanza” on 24th February, i.e. they want to celebrate a thanksgiving service with anyone who wants to come – of course, singing will play a major part.
Let us start by making a list of what will not be on offer: no pretzels, no bread and dripping, no beer, nor milkshakes. The email offered no hope of a slice of pizza nor made mention of a piece of Black Forest Cherry Gateau. So why on earth should one brave the darkness and stray to the house on the hill? Does not a good DVD at home on the sofa sound more appealing!
For millennia people have discovered again and again that praising God is not a sacrifice, but the best thing we can do. Really? Better that sport, food and sex?
If we reflect on God then texts and melodies fill our hearts. We look to him, who holds everything in his hands: our fears and doubts, our tiredness and all our failures. And if we head back two hours later we will feel so encouraged and cannot say anything, but: “God I thank you!”
In the New Testament two innocent prisoners praised God in their cell. Without justification one had beaten both of them black and blue. To know how their story continues, turn to Acts chapter 16. At midnight the walls shook and both of them were freed. The episode was so notable that even the prison warden believed in Jesus Christ. Incredible!
So we will see each other this Friday at 7 p.m. at the Lentink’s house. Perhaps their living room can hold 100 people. Let’s see!