This post is written by Becky, a CAMA worker in West Africa.
I have a mom confession. Sunday isn’t my children’s favorite day of the week.
In fact, typically there is a lot of begging to stay home and do “home church.” I get it, the services in West Africa are three hours long. They’re held in a language my kids aren’t fluent in yet. And compared to what you have, the benches are hard.
Sure, I’m not a fan of sitting hip to hip with my neighbor or listening to announcements that last as long as the sermon. But for me, the singing always makes up for it.
This Sunday we sang Auld Lang Syne. No, we weren’t ringing in the New Year; we were taking the offering.
The words to the West African version are about God’s gift to us in His Son. I’d love to know who it was from days gone by that put different words to the nostalgic tune.
Here we are gathered together today in Jesus’ name.
God has blessed us, and what do we have for Him?
God gave to us His children, the gift of His son, who came from Heaven.
Honor and blessing we should give to God because of His gift.
He gave us a good gift. What will we give to Him?
“What will we give to Him?”
As I was singing, I reflected on all the times I sang this version of Auld Lang Syne as a child in the various church plants my parents, Doug and Karen Conkle, started. Sometimes we were on the front porch in Burkina Faso, other times under a straw shelter. But in each case, we were worshiping with people who’d come to faith in Jesus because someone had given them the opportunity to hear and respond to the Good News!
“What will we give Him?” That’s the question before us. How God calls us to serve in His Kingdom won’t look the same for everyone, but it will sure cost each of us something. Yet isn’t He worth it!
I want my attitude to echo King David’s words, “I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God which cost me nothing” (2 Samuel 24:24). It’s the example I had in my mom and dad as I watched them sacrifice much to be obedient to God’s call but still heard them say over and over, “It is worth it.”
Maybe someday my kids will hear the familiar tune of Auld Lang Syne and be transported back to their childhood church services. It’s my prayer that they’ll have grasped they were a part of something of eternal significance, and the lack of a padded pew was a small price to pay.