Friday, August 21, 2009

Biker Sunday 2009...

Last Sunday our little church hosted its 4th Annual Biker Sunday and Blessing of the Bikes. While our small country church may never have the attendance and status of the larger churches and their endeavors, we have managed to hit our stride in this community. I find it amazing that God allows us at times to combine our passions in a fun way to reach out into the world on His behalf. It just so happens that two of my passions are my church and motorcycles.

What started out as an idea several years ago, has slowly evolved into a busy, fun-packed and rewarding weekend for the members of St. John's United Methodist Church. Allow me to offer a quick summary of events. We begin with our Sunday morning worship service. On this particular Sunday, it is geared toward bikers. As a rider myself, I preach that morning in my jeans, boots, vest, and do-rag. Approximately one-third of the congregation is dressed the same way. Aren't you glad God accepts us as we are, not as others expect us to be!

There is special music, and a special guest who only makes an appearance this one Sunday every year. His is a puppet named Harley, and we laugh at his exploits as he helps us understand how special each person is in the eyes of God, even if you ride two wheels instead of four. The message may be aimed specifically for bikers but all of us can and should learn a thing or two from them...their willingness to participate, their abundant generosity, and their unconditional humor.

Someone once told me, "when bikers meet, bikers eat" and this group is no exception. Following the morning worship, everyone gathered in the fellowship hall for a delicious meal. After all, a biker needs to replenish in order to prepare for the road ahead. Then, after the meal, those with two wheels enjoyed a charity bike ride designed to raise money for missions. This year, all money raised went to benefit the Rally Point Youth Center in downtown Lima, Ohio...a place where the youth of inner city Lima can come to find protection, education, help, and a little fun.

The day warm very warm and humid, yet spirits were high as the bikers wound their way through the countryside. Our destination this year was the 1st United Methodist Church of Wapakoneta, where Pastor R.J. Davis and his biker congregation hosted us with refreshments and friendship. Then back on the road, with Wapak bikers in tow, as we returned to St. John's for home-made ice cream and a ton of door prizes.

When the afternoon finally came to an end, this message reverberated louder than the Harley pipes..."a good time was had by all!" I pause here to thank God for his provision, for his steadfast love, for his care and devotion to our protection, and for his sense of humor. How often can one expect to have so much fun with so many friends, and combine all that with the love of God. We are already starting to plan for next year, and I can hardly wait until until it's Biker Sunday time again!! :-)