God's Word for Today

Friday, July 31, 2009

Campmeeting 2009 – Part Two “ I Saved the Best for Last”

According to our church historian we just experience our 178th Campmeeting!

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I have only been participating since 1993 (that’s 16 years for the math challenged as I tallied it up on my fingers) there are some that have been coming to campmeeting their entre life.

Praise Jesus, my DD does not know a life without Campmeeting in it.

For the past 16 years we have spent the third week in July in the center cabin directly behind the arbor. 

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In my previous post I gave y’all a glimpse into the nightly fair, the abundant covered dish supers that fill our earthly bodies.

Although the food is fabulous, it is by far not the most important thing about Campmeeting.

I have save the best for last!

The experience of stepping under the arbor, the feel of the sawdust under my feet, the fellowship with old friends, the worship, the music, the preaching, the alter calls, the prayer times, well it is simply beyond my ability to describe adequately in written form.

The flavor of Campmeeting is so specific. As you set your foot upon the Holy Ground, it feels as if you have been transported back to a simpler time.

A time where things like cell phones and blackberries did not exist.

The theme for this years Campmeeting was “Coming Home”, Skoots1mom is a much better note taker than I am, she actually takes note during the sermons.

I allow the experience to flow over me and the tone and flavor of each sermon will from time to time resurface.

The years of sermons are stored in the recesses of my mind.

I am sure in the days to come we may all get to read a post with all her wonderful insights on the various sermons during campmeeting.

As I mentioned previously, there are some who have no memory that does not include campmeeting.

Some of my sweetest memories of my children are the images that come to mind of them playing in the sawdust, or running after fireflies.

This year in the afterglow, as the congregation dispersed and the lingering conversations stretched on and on, I notice something so very familular. There is this pull, this magnetic forces as the people struggle to depart from the grounds. There always seems to be time for one more conversation or one more hello.

No one wants to leave.

It’s the afterglow and we all want it to last forever. 

Some nights I am up in the midst of the afterglow, other nights I make my way back to my cabin to sit an drink in the experience.

I watch the hugs, the laughter, the waving of arms and animated hand gestures of a good story being shared.

I watch the children as they frolic under the lights. They all had glow in the dark light sabers and glow stick around their heads, wrist and feet. It was like watching small flitting fairies darting about in the darkness laughing and chasing each other in joyful abandon.

This year I had a new Campmeeting experience!

I got to hold my granddaughter under the arbor.

This time tested and well loved tradition has now been passed on the another generation.

She will not remember sleeping in my arms under the arbor, but I will treasure the memory forever. 

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She will not remember napping in our cabin, but I will never forget the parallel images I experienced as I remembered my own children as babies falling soundly asleep surrounded but the warm summer night and the melody of crickets.

It breaks my heart with joy!

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When I am old and have my crown of gray hairs (most likely still hidden by Clairol Natural Instincts #14) I hope to look back on a life of countless Campmeeting memories.

IMG_0038 (This sweet picture is of one of my favorite people in the whole world, whom I fondly refer to as my spiritual grandmother, I want to be like her when I grow up.)

I will close this post with a few pictures taken by a very dear friend.

She snapped this one of me during one of the morning services. Aside from the usual observance of being able to prop my bare feet upon the back of the pew in front of me, not  practice I would recommend in the sanctuary.

What I notice most are my feet. If you look closely you can see the traditional  campmeeting markings of the sawdust and dirt. This heavenly dust lightly coves the exposed skin on your feet and ankles and leaves an imprint.

As I showered off and washed my dirty feet on Saturday afternoon I was a bit sad that it will be a whole year before I will get them back. 

Campmeeting 2009 from WF

The week came to a close.

The sun set and the communion was offered. We took the bread dipped it in the cup and gave thanks for a week spent on Holy Ground. We gave thanks that we have been given yet another opportunity to have a small human glimpse into what it will be like in heaven. 

The air is quiet except for the sound of footfalls in the sawdust, the body of Jesus sacrificed for you, the bread is placed in your hands, the blood of our Savior sacrificed for you, the bread dipped into the cup.

The quiet whispers of those around as they pray, the hand laid upon a shoulder or back as someone stands along a brother or sister kneeling at the alter.

Kneeling in the sawdust because there is no room at the alter.

Hands lifted in the air in praise.

The night falling around the arbor and the golden glow from within spilling out into the darkness.

Campmeeting 2009 from WF - 2

Very simply, we close each year with this hymn.

God be with you till we meet again,
By His counsels guide, uphold you,
With His sheep securely fold you,
God be with you till we meet again.

Refrain:
Till we meet, till we meet,
Till we meet at Jesus’ feet;
Till we meet, till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again,
’Neath His wings securely hide you,
Daily manna still provide you,
God be with you till we meet again.

Refrain:
Till we meet, till we meet,
Till we meet at Jesus’ feet;
Till we meet, till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again

God be with you till we meet again,
When life’s perils thick confound you,
Put His arms unfailing round you,
God be with you till we meet again.

Refrain:
Till we meet, till we meet,
Till we meet at Jesus’ feet;
Till we meet, till we meet,
God be with you till we meet again

God be with you till we meet again,
Keep love’s banner floating o’er you,
Smite death’s threat’ning wave before you,
God be with you till we meet again.

Blessings

Robin

 

2 comments:

Granny on the Web said...

My son and family in Dover New Hampshire, have just returned from a similar time at Celebration Northeast.
I can see you have had a good time with great fellowship, making wonderful memories.
Love Granny

skoots1mom said...

aaaaaaahhhhhhh....sweet memories, precious memories, how they linger!

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