Today I had the chance to be a part of something really cool - a barn dedication at The Grovestead. My good friends Rory and Becca Groves put up a barn on their 10 acre farm property last year, and they have been planning a night of worship and dedication of the barn to the Lord for the last few months. Rory even asked me to give a devotional during the dedication. It was an honor to be asked to do something like that.
We began the night with about 50 people in the upper part of the barn. There was some acoustic worship and we all sang Bless the Lord (10,000 Reasons) and Worthy is the Lamb. Then Rory stood up and shared some words about the barn and how God worked so many details together to make it all possible. He shared this verse, "Unless the Lord builds the house the workers labor in vain." (Ps 127:1) He said the barn went up without a hitch because he wasn't involved and that through it all God taught him to step aside and follow His leading instead of trying to do things on his own strength. It was a good word.
Rory then opened up the room for people to share revelation or visions that God may have given them of the barn space. A few people shared and it was neat to hear from others what God was speaking to them. I think it was encouraging to Rory and Becca to hear from others confirmation that the Lord had a special purpose in mind for the space.
Next I was invited up to share my devotional. Almost as soon as I spoke it started to rain. And right as I began reading from Hebrews 10:22 ("let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.") the rain started to pour against the metal siding. It was a remarkable moment and one person later said the sound of the rain almost reminded her of hands clapping, as if the Lord himself was applauded the dedication ceremony.
The rain continued the whole time I spoke and I had to shout above the noise. My son Jacob told me wife that it seemed to him like we were at a black church and I was a black preacher. I think that is hilarious and awesome! Amazingly enough, as I wrapped up my devotional, the rain wrapped up as well. It was a really neat moment to be a part of.
The night ended with Rory handing out markers and asking people to write Scripture verses all over the walls of the Upper Room. I imagine it will be very touching later on for Rory and Becca to read the verses people wrote all over inside their barn. God's Spirit was definitely there tonight and I look forward to watching and hearing about all God does in the space in the months and years to come.
Quote of the night: My daughter Izzy after finding out I'd be preaching, "I knew this was a worship thing, but it's a preaching thin too!!"