Beth Moore gives a testimony of her first visit to an Anglican Church after she very publicly left the SBC, her home her entire Christian life. It is a beautiful witness. One that I resonated with in so many ways.
She gives this description at the end of her first worship service at an Anglican Church:
I gathered up my Bible, purse, and bulletin. When I stood and turned to leave the pew, several women were gathered there.
“Beth,” one of them voiced with palpable tenderness, “we don’t know what brought you and your husband here today, but we want you to know … we’re so glad you came. You are welcome here, Beth.”
God smote the rock, and water gushed forth from my eyes like waterfalls. I can’t think of a time I’ve ever cried with less restraint in a public place. I couldn’t stop. Couldn’t get ahold of myself. Couldn’t say a syllable. I just sobbed.
One of the women touching my arm said, “Those are just tears of tenderness, right?”
“Okay, then. Those are allowed.” And they gently laughed, and, one by one, they embraced me. Keith and I drove home mostly in silence.
My wife and I have been in the Anglican Church almost 5 years now. I remember the choice to leave the denomination of my upbringing and adult years of ministry. I remember the heartache… and I remember the deep emotion we felt when we first came to the Anglican Church we now call home and where I joyfully serve as an Ordained Deacon. We probably cried at every service for 6 months. It was so full of joy for us.
I love Jesus. I love his Church. When I was wondering what in the world was going on 5-7 years ago in the “evangelical church” I knew I wasn’t going to toss out Jesus. And if I wasn’t tossing Jesus, I wasn’t tossing his Church. He isn’t a bodiless head to be worshiped. His Church matters. I just needed to find his body.
I am deeply thankful for the Spirit and his leading. This testimony from Beth Moore strengthens me.