My great-grandmother, Gertrude Cellon – Granny – passed away in May of 2006. If she were still alive today then she would have just celebrated her 97th birthday on July 8. In honor of her birthday and as a kind of day of remembrance of a wonderful lady, my grandfather, his wife, Jerry, Ben and I attended the church where Granny was a member for most of her life.
Hague Baptist Church is a small, country church that holds a special place in my heart for many reasons. The most obvious reason is that this church reminds me of Granny and Poppa (my great-grandfather) who were two amazing and influential members of my family. I also love Hague Baptist Church because it is beautiful in its simplicity. White wooden exterior, with an interior made up of beautiful old wood paneling, ceiling fans circling slowly and kind-hearted, God fearing, country folk lining the pine wooden benches make for a church experience that is stripped of all its excess and finery. The elimination of fancy instruments, overhead projectors, and high-tech sound systems allows members and guests to focus on the most important reason for going to church – building a relationship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And let me tell you, that I have never been in this church without feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit there with me. That is what I love most about Hague Baptist Church, the fact that despite or because of its lack of modern technology, the joy and love that the members have Jesus and for each other abounds in huge quantities. These people love each other and take care of one another and pray for each other. They are kind and warm and will hug your neck even if they haven't seen you in years. I love knowing that God is working in a place no matter the size or shape.
Today was extra special because today was Communion day at Hague Baptist Church. Communion, or as I like to call it – The Lord's Supper – is probably my favorite symbol/tradition of being a baptized believer of the teachings of Jesus. Ever since I was a little girl I have reveled in the rich symbolism of this ceremony with its beautiful dishes and serious tone. I am humbled and grateful to sit and consume the bread that is Christ's body and the wine grape juice that is Christ's blood. I am humbled because I am amazed to think that this man, Jesus, would endure such pain and ridicule, and ultimately lay down his life for someone as insignificant and undeserving as me. I am grateful because Jesus made that sacrifice of himself and God made that sacrifice of his only son, so that I may one day be saved. Praise the Lord I am saved! Praise the Lord that I am given a reminder of this sacrifice and love through the taking of the Lord's Supper. Praise the Lord that I am lucky enough to be able to attend a simple country church service and come away with a renewed sense of gratitude for God and his son and the sacrifice they made.