Endorphins are the brain's "feel-good" chemicals. They kick in when we do certain things, like eating chocolate, sniffing lavender, laughing, listening to our favorite music or … exercising. I think I felt some spiritual endorphins kick in last Sunday. Why?
Well, for one, we all need the exercise, right? On a normal Sunday we drag ourselves out of bed and stagger to church with just enough coffee to be semi-functional. I know. I’ve seen your faces.
But last Sunday was different, because by the time many of you showed up at CBC, you’d already had some meaningful activity – you’d been exercising your spiritual gifts by serving the people at six different senior-care facilities. Was our serving perfect? No, but we still did it. I know I was energized, because, like you, I had actually been doing what we usually just talk about.
I heard a speaker once say that Jesus was at his happiest on the day his disciples returned from their short-term missions trip (read Luke 10:1-24). They were “joyful” because they’d finally had the chance to put what they’d been learning into practice. They’d gotten out of their comfort zones and felt weak and seen God come through, and it was exciting! And when Jesus saw their faces and heard their stories, it says “he was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit.” It made Jesus happy to see his followers happy. And they were happy because they had been exercising and the endorphins were kicking in.
So back to last Sunday. When we walked into church, we could smell the brisket (thanks, Andrea and Chris and Doug H. and Doug S. and Dean and Mike). And we sat at tables, where we could look into the eyes of our brothers and sisters, some of whom we didn’t really know very well. And the stage was in the middle (thanks, Andy & Jaime!) so that made us sit up and pay attention a little more. And I met some people who had courageously dropped in that day for their first time, and they loved it! There were lots of moving parts last Sunday, and those parts were real people, like you. It was a living, breathing picture of what Charlie preached about the week before in Ephesians 4:16: “As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”
And that’s why I loved last Sunday.