Written by: Ruth Waite
One of my favorite things on the bike adventure itself is the chance to attend different churches each Sunday for worship services. As a United Methodist pastor, I don’t often get the chance to simply be a part of worship without having to lead it or plan it.
Our first Sunday of the ride, we stayed overnight at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church (ELCA). They had a Saturday evening service and a Sunday morning service. This was Pentecost Sunday, remembering the story when the Holy Spirit came with power and rested on the 120 disciples who were gathered for prayer (Acts 2). The Spirit drove them to proclaim the great deeds of the Lord—and each one present heard the proclamation in their own language.
At the Sunday morning service, I was moved to tears when during the reading of this story people started talking. I wondered if I had missed something and was supposed to be reading along, but I soon realized that they were reading in foreign languages. Many of them had come from other countries and were reading in their mother tongues. The babble was very confusing and I was as confused as people were in Jerusalem that day.
We also were a part of the confirmation of a girl from the congregation, and I was able to pass on to her a blessing that I received as I began this journey. The blessing comes from Paul’s letter to the Colossians: “asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father.”
Another thing that I am really looking forward to is the chance to meet people from all over the country. I want to understand something about what has made us so divided as a nation, and I want to be part of the healing. I believe that God has called me to this journey, and that God will be able to use it in some way.