In the vestibule of my church Sunday I was stopped by the nicest lady.
“Read your article. You don’t have a clue about what happens under the bridge, do you?” she asked sweetly.
I had to admit all I knew was what I had read about in the “Worship Under the Bridge” articles both in the Jacksonville Progress and in Tyler’s Morning Telegraph and that I had mixed them together. So I took my red face and actually attended the service “Under the Bridge.”
Turns out there were not 350 attending the service. There was a nice young man and his family (who sang beautifully); a regular supporter, a local couple along with me and a man and wife passing through town. Not a homeless person in sight unless you count the person walking by who didn’t stop.
The young man preached a good sermon: asked us what God would have us do. “Be holy, practice loving one another and tell others about The Christ” was the gist of the service.
Afterwards I asked about the 350 gifts. Some of them would of course go to the homeless. Many would go to the residents at Travis Towers where they are starting a brand new outreach. Others would be given to diverse folks in need.
I found that the meeting place “Under the Bridge” was chosen not because they had no other place to go but that “Worship Under the Bridge” was their effort to reach out to the community in an entirely new and different way.
This “church” will never grow in the conventional way. It will, however touch the lives of many just passing through and many in need. Their memory will be of tender hearts, golden voices and the word of God aptly spoken.
In short, “Worship Under the Bridge” is several men’s and their family’s effort to make a difference. The call is still for the citizens of Jacksonville to join them in making a difference in the community by getting involved. "Let’s reach out a helping hand and be enriched by “Being holy” (“being like Jesus”), he said.
We can do that where we are but services don’t start till 11:30 and if you missed yours, slept late of are just curious, come on “Under the Bridge.” You will be blessed and might even get a cup of cocoa and a roll. Don't forget a warm jacket or bring your own blanket.