I’ve recently been in a season of feeling somewhat distant from God. That’s not to say that God actually has been distant from me though, which is an entirely different thing.
Then The Meeting Place 20th anniversary happened. The Meeting Place (TMP) was the church where I was mentored as a worship leader through my 20s and into my 30s. I spent 10+ years attending TMP and serving there as a musician and worship leader. So much of my spiritual journey happened in that place. I met my wife there, I was married there, I worked there, I served God there, I made mistakes there, I built life-long friendships there, I learned to love Jesus there…
I moved to Vernon about 6 years ago, and have been back to TMP to lead worship a handful of times, and it has been wonderful. But things change and you can’t relive the past – I’ve learned that, and I’m ok with that.
Something happened on Jan 30, 2011 at the 20th anniversary of TMP. In the life of Jon Buller, God came near. But maybe what I really mean is Jon Buller came near to God. No, we weren’t re-living the past. But we did have the amazing opportunity to welcome back 2 of our teaching pastors, and the first lead pastor as well as past and present worship leaders. And I am sure that I was not the only one that experienced God’s nearness.
To describe what happened is difficult – I’m still trying to process all of the miraculous work that God did in us and among us that night. But I can say that I think the ultimate goal of the evening was to celebrate God’s story in that community – past, present and future. And that is what we did. As we did it, through teaching and music, sharing, dancing, story telling, praying… it seemed God began (or rather – continued) to work in that place.
I believe there was deep healing of hurts, and I know there was profound celebration on all kinds of levels. There was a ministry of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of many, and the theme of the night seemed perfectly named – MOMENTUM – because that’s what it felt like was happening in our midst. Hope and faith continued to grow, or for some was renewed and restored.
So, thank you Meeting Place for so many things, especially the richness of the faith in God that you gave me in that time of my life, which still continues today. And of course, thank you for the gift of participating in your twenty-year anniversary, where I could feel again that God comes near.