I missed church on Sunday for a strange reason. Due to some unique circumstances with scheduling, Elizabeth and I were going to drive separately to church, with her leaving at 8:15 for music rehearsal and me following at 9:15. While I was heading out the door, however, I realized that she had both sets of keys with her, leaving me without a way to get to church. It was too close to service time for anyone to come get me, so we let it be.
Considering that I had just read Calvin’s sections on God’s Providence in his Institutes, my first thought was that God had providentially decreed my Sunday morning blunder. So I decided to make the most of it, and set to planning my own “service.” I broke out Tenth Pres’ Hymns for a Modern Reformation pamphlet, queued up the corresponding choral pieces on iTunes, and sang along for several selections. I then had a time of prayer preceding one of my dad’s sermons, “True Repentance 1.” Though I really benefited from hearing this sermon, I couldn’t help thinking that Alex Rodriguez could also stand to listen to it. The sermon text was Psalm 51, so following the sermon, I found the original tune to “God be Merciful to Me” at cyberhymnal.com and sang along with the MIDI file.
While abandoning the corporate gathering of God’s people is not on our horizon (and never will be), I had a good time during this spontaneous, individualized “service.” In God’s Providence, he ordained this to happen, and by his grace made it a beneficial time for me. But from now on when we leave for church separately, we’ll make sure we have our keys in the right places!