This is the road of life, you know, Of laughs and tears and joy and woe. But there are many side roads that might lead astray, ere you come to the home at the end of the way. And you will travel a different way tomorrow. You pass by a struggler along way. You will help him out tomorrow you say! Then hurry along, consoling your mind, that you will give him a hand, when it is more inclined. But you will travel a different way tomorrow”. It was a Sciotoville Ohio native who wrote these words in a book he titled Log Cabin Poems. His name was Homer Dever and he couldn’t have imagined his little book might grace a private library today, his words being shared in my writings. But here it is, a lovely verse reminding me as we prepared to attend another service of a Scioto County Ohio church that soon we would travel a different way.
Today though was well spent and a blessing to our visitation/worship team of Beverly Rucker, Stephanie and Chris Neff and myself! We stepped into the Mabert Road Baptist Church. Had we known, we could have stepped into an elevator to enter the church. If this was not the first, it is the first we have seen. At service end we were granted an introductory ride by the church Pastor and his wife, being Jim and Deloris Benner. Previously we had visited the church of their son/Pastor Chad Benner. Jim said that he and his son may be the only father/son pastoral combination in Scioto County Ohio.
After we had seated Paul Truman left his seat to come back and say that he and his wife June had attended Cedar Street Church with my family when I was boy. In fact several there had and I recognized Bill Lute and his wife from those days. Bill played a big part in the conducting the service at this Mabert Road Church. I can not help being a little emotional thinking about being here for the funeral of my Eden Park friend Rick Gillum who I had spent summers playing wiffle ball and tag football with in our Eden Park Playground. In those days, summers meant leaving the house at daylight and mom knew we would be back at suppertime. Phone games did not take up our day. We did not have much fear of neighborhood danger and friendships were deep.
This day’s service opened under the leadership and song leading of Connie Weaver. Dorothy Benner explained to me that a pianoist and organist were on vacation the day we visited, however she very nicely handled the piano playing beautifully during our visit.
This was a singing church and Connie mentioned that we could use books or not if we know the songs. Though page numbers were given. Opening Hymns included “Thank you Lord, We have come into this house, Count your blessings, What a wonderful savior and a version of amazing grace”!
Then Bill Lute took prayer requests and conducted a prayer service which included members coming forward to pray for special prayer needs of those attending. Offering was extended as the beautiful hymn “A closer walk with thee” was being sung throughout the church.
The Pastor came forward and sang a special hymn, “I am blessed”! He then reported that an upcoming Sunday would be a World for Christ mission day and that the church would be collecting flip flops for the Philippines and clothes for South Africa. Then it was said there would be a baby dedication the following week.
He said that a church needs to experience brotherhood and today will be communion. He had mentioned that someone within the church had made the very special leavened bread and I am sorry I did not catch the name. Though the Pastor had called the drink wine, I suspect it was actually a grape juice, which is fine. We find this is presented differently by churches.
Pastor Benner said that this service could be classified as a mini service dedicated to the conducting of today’s Communion. He discussed that in Matthew, chapter 26 verse 26 that Jesus instituted the Lords supper making the presentation to his disciples. He said that Communion was mentioned in the bible four times within Matthew, Mark, 1st Corinthians and Luke.
The people of Corinth thought they were coming to a literal dinner. Though the Apostle Paul taught them they were there for a greater purpose of breaking the bread and the partaking of the wine in as they would learn, in Jesus name.
The Pastor said that in the Communion Service we are saying the Lord is coming again. The people of Corinth thought that would be in their time. As we know, that was not the case. Through Communion we are also saying that Christ is the Savior of sinners. He said, that those who eat unworthily eat in condemnation. Jesus died in our place at Calvary and the partaking of the cup and bread gives us each one remembrance that the death of Christ was necessary and sufficient to meet our needs. He was showing us that we could not do it for ourself, that Christ was giving us a new leaf. When we get to heaven we will drink from a new cup and that everyone who has accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior would in heaven share in a heavenly communion where we will partake with the Lord forever.
In closing the Pastor quoted a last verse from a popular old hymn, “Let us labor for the Master from the dawn til setting sun, Let us talk of all His wondrous love and care, Then when all of life is over, and our work on earth is done, And the roll is called up yonder, l’ll be there”!
As believers, let us share the good news: Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World! Each one, reach one…See ya in church!
Reach Randy Rucker at Ohiorancher5@gmail.com.