This morning church started as it normally does. We have a typical service compared to other churches, except for one thing, it’s in sign language. We start with announcements which are presented by a Deaf church member. Then a different church member prays for the service. Next, we have a time of praise and worship songs. Many of the songs are common church songs, however, in our setting, they are silent. We don’t have a worship leader. Instead, several church members will pick a song and then they take turns leading the songs they have chosen. When the worship time is over, we have a time of sharing. Today less shared than normal. After that we have offering and an offertory followed by a short break when the children exit the sanctuary.
Last week I preached on when Jesus revealed his death and resurrection by telling the story of Jonah. This week I started to preach on Matthew 8:23-27. This is the story of the disciples waking Jesus during a storm on lake Galilee. I started with the setting. Jesus was travelling around Galilee by foot or boat preaching to the large crowds that surrounded him. My sermons are very open. Often, I ask questions or am interrupted to answer great questions. This week a Deaf church member asked why Jesus was here for such a short time. He could easily have stayed and done years or decades more work. After much discussion, it was suggested and agreed that one reason was so the disciples could, “take their turn”. Quickly the discussion turned into the need for the Deaf church members taking their turns like the disciples did.
What a great way to have my sermon derailed. What a great discussion. Please pray for Jesus Deaf Church as we continue to grow.