Sunday night through this morning, I spent time selecting scriptures and doing some preliminary work on the sermons I will deliver from the first Sunday of December through the end of May. I went to Spartanburg and stayed at a hotel there. I took what seems like every commentary I own plus enough legal pads to make a paper trail between Rock Hill and Spartanburg. What usually happens is that I sequester myself in the room, and work as long as I want until I need a break.
This time, I bought food to eat lunch in the room and used the hotel's free breakfast and dinner at other times. I didn't need to leave the quiet of the room for much. That worked well. But by Tuesday morning, I needed a change of scenery. I decided I would go to the hotel lobby and work there for an hour or so. I grabbed a couple of commentaries, legal pads and a bible and walked to the hotel lobby.
That time of day the hotel lobby was being cleaned, but as a father of three boys, I am accustomed to working with some distractions. As it turned out, I was working on the Emmaus passage for next March or April. I poured over the commentaries and pondered and reflected on a theme or two for that passage. All of a sudden one of the ladies cleaning the lobby area, starting singing. She had not seen me or what I was doing, and she sang the chorus of several Gospel hymns, and then, a verse from "We Would See Jesus." It was beautiful singing, fit for any church choir. I listened as she proclaimed the Word in her own way.
I pondered what she sang and what I was studying: the road to Emmaus, the disciples forlorn and searching and "We would See Jesus"--- hmmmmmmm. Sometimes the Spirit comes to us in the breaking of the bread, the sharing of the Word, and the singing of the chorus. In that holy ground moment in a hotel in Spartanburg, it was nice to remember that life comes to the Word as certainly as the Word comes to life.