I don’t know what it is about worshiping on the second floor of buildings, but it ranks as one of my favorite things in the world. Maybe it’s because I love the story of the Upper Room so much. A place of refuge and a place of hiding was used to ignite the flame of the early Church. After experiencing Jesus’ resurrection and being told by Jesus to wait for the Holy Spirit, the disciples devoted themselves in that room to praying, and just like Jesus had promised; they would see the power of the Holy Spirit.
That’s what you’ll find on the first Sunday of each month in the second-floor youth room of First United Methodist Dimmitt at their new Bilingual Service. In this small agricultural community, with a diverse socio-economic reality; the United Methodist Church has stood for nearly one hundred years and yet, there exists an excitement about ministry that is a breath of fresh air, or perhaps just a breath of the Holy Spirit. This service, led by Associate Pastor Eliezer Garrido and his wife Mara, is new and refreshing to FUMC Dimmitt, but has a foundation in what the disciples of Jesus knew to be invaluable: prayer.
That’s what I learned by simply observing the intentional behavior of everyone in the service. From young Hispanic families, to older Anglo couples; this service was about bringing together a community in worship, to share in the teachings of Jesus Christ. It was as “church” is supposed to be; united, not uniform. It’s a place where the Holy Spirit speaks all languages, not just ours; where worship is about the expectancy of the Holy Spirit to move and do great things. God is moving through this service and in this community because FUMC Dimmitt submits themselves to praying and expecting a movement of the Holy Spirit and it is happening.
Eliezer’s message from Acts 2 was simple: we as the Church have abandoned the absolute necessities of the Christian life. We must return to being consistent in prayer, devoting ourselves to scripture, sharing meals together, and finally, by giving of ourselves to those around us. Acts 2 says that when the Church did these things, the membership number didn’t decline, they didn’t have to close any buildings from disuse, no, they added to their number daily who were being saved.
In this upper room, situated just down the street from the crossroads of Highways 86 and 385, a group of people gather together to pray and worship in expectation of the movement of God in their community. The Disciples did the same thing and great, wondrous, and miraculous things happened through them. It’s hard not to find the potential in the Holy Spirit doing the same things in Dimmitt, Texas.