Sure, Harley Davidson has mainstreamed, and its product logo is on everything from sunglasses to underwear, but a big segment of the riders are unreached by genuine Christian love. Some riders are just bad-boy posers who take their expensive bikes out after a hard day in the cubicle, but other riders have lives filled with pain, substance abuse, violence, crime, and are looking hard for hope, or have all but given up in despair. Plenty more, are somewhere in the middle.
My mom’s church has a special ministry for those who ride.
Each Spring they hold a big gathering called The Blessing of the Bikes. It’s a time to gather, talk shop, and pray for a safe riding season. A gospel message is preached, “Blessing” shirts are sold, riding buddies are made, Bibles are given out, and folks from all over come in hopes that prayer will keep them safe. Thousands attend.
Each week, the Murrysville Alliance Church has a few scheduled group rides (MAC riders: They even have their own patches. woe.). The ministry has been so helpful, and well-received, that ashtray receptacles have had to be installed outside the church, the building expanded, and they’ll soon have to go to three services on Sundays. You should see all the tattoos, beards, bandanas, and leather in that place on a Sunday morning. It’s a place awash in the grace and Spirit of God in there, and awfully noisy when they start up their bikes to leave after the service too!
WPXI Channel 11 in Pittsburgh has video of the event this year. It’s worth a look!