On Sunday, March 16th, my birthday, I had the great pleasure to speak at Mt. Horeb Baptist Church in Louisville for their annual Ushers Day program. I spoke on joy from Luke 1:39-56, and the story of Mary's visit with Elizabeth. Almost every the following week, God continued to give me additional revelation on joy as relates to Elizabeth, Mary and John.
Elizabeth's joy was tied to her position in the faith and in the house; baby John's to his position as a prophet, and Mary's to her position as the mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Their collective joy, expressed in different ways, on this occasion was tied to their proximity to the unborn Savior of the world. They stood, the three of them, in the presence of the Lord, and in His presence there is fullness of joy!
A primary assignment for ushers who stand at the entrance to the church house, is to greet guests and visitors as they enter and exit the building. What makes this story relevant for Ushers Day is the agency and activity of the Holy Spirit and when He begins to move. We are so use to talking about the Holy Spirit coming at Pentecost, but here is an instance of His presence before the birth of Jesus. Luke 1:40-41 states, “…where she (Mary) entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit….” It is interesting that the Holy Spirit begins to move precisely at the point of greeting, and greetings usually occur somewhere near the door. And where do we find ushers serving faithfully at every worship service? At the entrance. At the door. The psalmist says in Psalms 84:10, “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.”
A special thanks to Phyllis Webb, president of the Usher Board, the entire usher board, and Rev. Jerome Evans, Pastor, Mt. Horeb Baptist Church for the invitation to speak, and to the ushers from St. Stephen Church (photo left) who attended.
I wrote another sermon, but God said "no." He added more to this one on joy. Please watch the video, Mt. Horeb Baptist Church Ushers Day Program Part 2 for the rest of the message. Part 1 is also posted under the VIDEOS tab.