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Lighthouse Mennonite

October 19th, 2010 by isaac · No Comments

Last Sunday I preached about my visit to a Mennonite congregation Burus, Louisiana—which is toward the outer edge of the Mississippi River Delta, about an hour and a half south of New Orleans. Here’s a passage from my sermon:

I was in Louisiana, about an hour and a half down south of New Orleans, toward the outer edge of the Mississippi River delta, in the land of bayous. Somehow, in the town of Burus, a town with less than 2,000 people, without any ethnic ties to European Mennonite settlements, there’s a little Mennonite church: Lighthouse Mennonite Fellowship. It’s a small congregation. Before Hurricane Katrina, it was about the size of our church. But when I was there, there were about 15 people. A lot of people haven’t come back—either because rebuilding has been going very slowly, or because life on the bayou is becoming too risky as the delta is disappearing into the ocean due to soil erosion.

But those who returned still meet for worship. And their service seemed exactly like what Paul described in 1 Corinthians 14. Someone got up from one of the chairs and started off the service with a prayer. Then he asked if anyone had a song to sing. Someone would call out a hymn and we would sing it. Then another person would call out another song, and another. Then we were asked if anyone had a testimony. Probably 5 or 6 people shared about different things in their lives that had something to do with God. The testimony-time turned into a time of prayer. Finally, there was a reading from the bible and a sermon. After that, a benediction and everyone stuck around for a meal, which lingered into the afternoon.

Through worship, they wait with one another. They take time to be together, as someone suggests a song, as another person offers a testimony of God’s work in her life, and as they pray for the needs of the people in the community. Through worship, they rest into one another, into the wisdom each of them brings to the meeting, and the revelation of God that they share with one another. And as they rest into each other, they find themselves being held by God.

But it’s lonely work. The people at Lighthouse Mennonite Fellowship have lost a lot of people. Like I said, many of their friends have not come back after Hurricane Katrina. And the houses and schools have not been rebuilt. But the church is still there, even if only as a remnant. And the members of the church who have returned have given their lives for the sake of their community, for the sake of peace and restoration.

For the rest of it, go to my church website: Lighthouse Mennonite

Tags: sermons