Friday, September 29, 2023

Holy Joy

Holy Joy

By Amy Patsch

Amy Patsch
Amy Patsch

This Sunday, church was just perfect. Did you ever have a day like that when your heart and the joy of the Lord coincided so perfectly that it brought a bright smile to your face? That is what this Sunday was like.

We took visiting relatives to church with us. The last time they were in church was for a funeral and before that it was most likely a wedding. These relatives attend church for events only, but they were gracious and agreed when my husband, Neil, and I asked them to join us.  

Our adult Sunday school hour was filled with the stories told by a vibrant missionary explaining his mission of spreading God’s word in a very broken country. He has taken on a more administrative position this year and told of training the new and younger generation to fill his previous role. This missionary was on fire for the Lord and it was a joy to hear him share about God’s work in Africa.

After Sunday school, we attended the regular church service, but nothing now is regular in our church.  We are in the midst of change, as our pastor of 30-plus years retired this spring. It is all good, though. A vitality has entered our church in this time that portends a hope for a brilliant future for our congregation. 

We have various pastors scheduled to preach each Sunday until we find a full-time pastor. Many of these pastors are retired from their longtime churches. There is something so exciting about a pastor set free to just simply teach God’s word. They are no longer burdened by administrative tasks. They have no need to visit our sick, as our elders are doing that job. The funerals are being covered by another retired pastor who attends our church and knows our congregation. Everything is being done by volunteers and the pastors are free to prepare their sermons and tell us what God has led them to preach.

Even the music was more energetic and exciting. Our musicians are always exceptional, but there is an expectation of God working in our church that has enlivened even their normal joyous delivery. 

Everything in both the Sunday school hour and the church service told of Jesus’ love and sacrifice for us.  Whether by word or song, we praised the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit for two hours and it was so very wonderful. I was walking on air, as I left church inspired to do more for God and to be more thankful to Him than ever.

We were so grateful particularly for this wonderful Sunday that truly only God could have orchestrated because we have been praying for weeks for this couple who attended church with us. Our hearts’ desire is for them to come to know the saving grace of Jesus. For them to lift their burdens off their shoulders and to give them to the Lord of all Creation – to trust in Jesus.

We could not have asked for anything better from God because He absolutely gave us everything plus more than what we had prayed for this couple. God’s gifts are always bigger and wiser than we can even imagine to ask from Him. What a great God He is.

On Tuesday, this couple attended our regular Bible study group with us where a young missionary told of her recent and future travels to dig water wells in remote regions of the world. Both of them listened intently.

Then, on Thursday evening, this couple joined us in attendance at a service at yet another church. They indeed have been soaked in the word of God this week and God tells us His Word does not come back void, so we anticipate a great movement toward the Lord in their lives.

As we chatted during the week, of course, the conversation occasionally turned to the services and what caught their attention. The wife told me her mother has been urging them for years to find and attend a local church. They are now finally discussing it seriously.

We were excited to send them home having been immersed in God’s word this week. The very fact that they attended so many hours of teaching shows that God had been preparing their hearts, as we had been praying for Him to do. 

We had been told, after a previous visit, that they felt this tremendous peace in our home. I pray that they now recognize this is the peace that passes all understanding and comes only from our Father above.

We sent them on their way, knowing that God has made an impact on these two lives and He is not done with them yet! Amen.

ED. NOTE: Amy Patsch writes from Ocean City. Email her at


Amy Patsch writes religious and faith-based opinion content for the Cape May County Herald.

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