Around NYC

A Sweet Sunday

“Today was a really sweet day.”

These were Jordan’s words as we made our way home last night as the sun dipped behind the trees. Pushing Jameson in the stroller, past the teenaged boys on the basketball court, the people giving us approving smiles after looking at Jameson, past the local fruit stand, past the ladies offering to braid my hair, past the bodegas, the laundromat, and up the hill to our apartment.

And he was right. Jordan’s statement was simple, but it was layered with meaning. Working in ministry full-time has been like nothing else Jordan has experienced. There are really tough moments of walking with people through their heartbreaks, abuse, disappointments, and failures. There are hurtful moments when people project their pain and negative feelings or are quick to offer criticism without any attempt to be constructive. And there’s generally a lingering feeling of there being way too much need and nowhere near enough capacity or resources.

But then there are days like yesterday. Days when Jordan gets to baptize a college friend during our church service. A friend who pre-Christian Jordan wreaked havoc with 16 years ago. A friend who thought Jordan was nuts when he had his radical conversion and started teaching a campus bible study. A friend who 14 years later had become a follower himself and later became a member of our church. Had you told either of them in 2000 that one day they’d be standing in a church in Harlem, one as pastor holding back his “thug tears,” and the other about to make his public declaration of faith in Jesus, both would have laughed heartily. Incredulously. Dismissively.

But in moments like these, we have one of the greatest joys — that God is at work, and no one is beyond His reach. It’s clear in these sweet moments, and it’s bolstering as we walk with the grieving and addicted and bruised and ashamed. StoriedStyledSweetSunday-2What was already sweet became even sweeter when we celebrated our friend’s baptism after church with a “church and chill” barbecue in Morningside Park. The food was delicious. The weather was just right. And the collection of people from our church, from all different walks of life and with all different kinds of experiences, who under normal circumstances would never hang out together (seriously, you should see the confused/intrigued looks on people’s faces as they walked past our group) — they make it apparent as well… that God is at work, and no one is beyond His reach.

We love these folks, and the moments we get to share with them. How they share themselves with us and love on our son.StoriedStyledSweetSunday-5StoriedStyledSweetSundayHow they care for each other and push through awkward moments.StoriedStyledSweetSunday-3 StoriedStyledSweetSunday-4How they make life complicated, interesting, inspiring, and sweet.

During the baptisms, our worship team sang “I Have Decided” by Elevation Worship. This song gets me every time, and I typically can’t play it just once. When it gets to 3:52, forget about it. I simultaneously want to throw my hands up and join a rock band.

I have decided to follow Jesus
No turning back, no turning back

Though none go with me, I still will follow
No turning back, no turning back

Everything, all I am and all I have to bring
I will give to You

And I will follow, my heart surrenders
My Jesus I am Yours
And I will follow, my life in Your hands
My Jesus I am Yours

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Christina Kposowa
    May 26, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    This was so beautifully written, Jess. Thanks for sharing the sweetness :-)

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