Minister Nikki Lerner   -  

Columbia, Maryland

Recently, a couple other Bridgeway musicians and I were scheduled to lead worship at another church, Gallery Church Patterson Park led by Pastor Derek. Then, on Saturday night, I received a text from Pastor Derek saying he had heard from another pastor in Lower Park Heights, who felt led by the Lord to ask if their congregation could come and worship at Gallery that Sunday. The desire was simply to be together.

The Lower Park Heights Church was an African American congregation. And Gallery Church is predominately white with a growing Latino population. When the doors opened that Sunday, a diverse group of worshippers packed the chapel!

The scene was vibrant and brought tears to my eyes. We sang together and worshipped. Pastor Derek brought the house down with a message about how the church can engage and respond in these trying times. Then, we all shared in communion together. People from all different racial and ethnic backgrounds came to the table and served one another through tears and hugs and laughter.

What blows me away about this divine service is that our team had been scheduled to lead worship at Gallery Church for about a month. Had the Lower Park Heights congregation showed up on any other Sunday morning, they likely would not have seen a multicultural worship team like ours. We even sang some Black gospel songs set to an acoustic vibe for a diverse sound!

It was clear to me God had been planning this encounter all along and that each person was present in that place, in that time, to glorify God together… on earth as it is in heaven. I won’t soon forget the impact of being a part of that moment. God is always on the move, and we must continue to be present and stay alert for these glimpses of heaven in our midst.