I am sure you are all familiar with the movie ‘Frozen’ and latterly the ice show, which has been playing to packed audiences in the Rod Laver Arena (tennis centre), near where I live. Now, I am not commenting about that show, although I remain more than a little blown away to see so many little girls and boys attending that show who were all dressed in pale blue tulle ‘Elsa’ dresses, matched with sparkling blue shoes. We had noticed the ‘Elsa’- dressed crowd both entering and leaving the arena, as we drove along Swan Street to take our grandchildren to a show at the Melbourne Recital Centre. All up, it was lovely to be out and to see so many others out and about too in the last school holidays. And that was despite the most recent holidays falling right in the middle of our usual freezing Melbourne winter.
No, my reflection of ‘frozen’, or ‘feeling frozen’ began a couple of weeks back with a thief helping himself to some copper piping that attaches around vital components of our church’s heating unit. On the first Sunday without heating, we managed to live through the service, except for the relieving keyboard player, whose fingers turned a pale shade of ‘Elsa’ blue as she struggled to play. During the week that followed, members of our Admin & Planning team worked away diligently to ensure a warm sanctuary for the following Sunday, but despite their best efforts, we faced an even colder morning for worship, which followed a cold week with some 2, 3 and 4 degree mornings. In fairness to our senior members of the church, leadership decided to let people know of our situation.
‘Fair enough,’ I agreed with the strategy as I prepared to lead Sunday morning’s worship service. I had booked up a mission speaker some months earlier and we eagerly awaited his visit. But early in the week ahead of his visit, I received an email alerting me to the fact that he had gone down with a throat infection, and had no voice to share Sunday’s message! But, good news! He had arranged for a colleague to come instead. All good, I got in touch immediately with the new person to welcome him to our church community – and to suggest he might come well ‘rugged up’ as we may not be worshipping in a heated building. Sunday morning dawned bright and very cold, with the building’s air feeling particularly frigid, despite some token attempts at heating being offered in that large space from a few little blow heaters. Barely one third of our regular attenders turned up for worship; understandable but I did experience some disappointment especially for the visiting speaker.
And, as the week had progressed things seemed to get worse and worse. One of our song-leaders had likewise lost her voice with a winter infection. The rostered Bible reader became unwell late on Saturday night. And our regular keyboard player was still away as it was the end of school holidays. Not being a fan of recorded music, I took my guitar along instead. But even while wearing fingerless gloves, my fingertips had indeed frozen after one song! I began to wonder if we should have just cancelled the whole morning. But I reckoned without God and our wonderful guest speaker.
Our singing was truly wonderful; it amazed me and lifted me up way beyond the limits of my slower chord changes on account of the cold morning. Our praises and prayers lifted us to new heights of holiness and I cannot describe our speaker’s message as anything other than brilliant, as he too lifted and carried us heavenward in his story of the mission in which he has been called to serve, and of its history and creative means of operating.
When we rose to sing our final song, Elsa’s ‘Frozen’ song flashed in and immediately out of my head with an image of a thousand little blue dresses, as we did indeed, ‘Let it go!’ We gave it all to God with praises that thawed a freezing cold morning into a warm day, especially with the gift of that guest speaker in our own spirit-inspired and God-directed worship. It was a wonderful Sunday. Sometimes, I reckon that the more challenges we are called to face, and no matter how small and seemingly insignificant they may be, then the more blessed we will be as we seek to rely more on God’s spirit to carry us through.
Glynis Dickins is the Pastoral Care Pastor at Rosanna Baptist Church, in the North-Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. She is passionate for writing about the wonderful people she has connected with throughout many years of ministry. She also writes short stories and published her first novel in 2014 through Ark House, who have just published her next novel.
Image courtesy Freely Photos