Sunday morning at Spruce Head Community is a sociological patchwork. Members with advanced degrees worship cheek-by-jowl with high school dropouts. Successful businessmen toss their offering into the same receptacle as welfare recipients, and the octogenarian great-grandmother grins at the antics of tiny, scampering escapees from the nursery. I can’t help but picture our Lord’s smile as he regards our unlikely gathering, and yet he foreshadowed this very thing when he prayed for us on his way to the cross:
“May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe you sent me.”John 17:21
A Place that Feels Like Home
We really do need each other in our living out of “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” Christians who are living in the on-ramp toward faithful church attendance and those of us who are standing along the way cheering them forward are both in a unique position to put the beauty and uniqueness of God’s love on display. Finding community can be a long and challenging process, but the rewards are worth the wait.
Robert Frost wrote a poem in which he calls home “the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” Because I have been “taken in” so faithfully, it’s now a joy to persevere in the work of making my own church home feel like home to others. Community is the sandpaper by which we find ourselves continually being re-made and re-formed, for the truth of the gospel is best understood in terms of our yearning to belong, our struggle with homesickness, and the ache of all our longings for home.
Community is the sandpaper by which we find ourselves continually being re-made and re-formed.Tweet
A Celebration Place
One Sunday morning when all the Sunday school classes landed in a heap for a multi-generational assembly followed by muffins, I read aloud from The Celebration Place, Dorena Williamson’s anthem to the Body of Christ gathered. How refreshing to share the truth that worship (and worshipers!) will look and participate differently in other places!
Here in rural Maine where a choir is as rare a sight as a brown face, Erin Bennett Banks’s vivid illustrations enriched the text, and I was pleased to hear adult chuckles accompanying the page about rappers “nodding to the beat” while “old folks stomp their feet.” Together, author and illustrator announce the church as “no longer a divided space. Now it’s a celebration place!”
With so many fractures in our world upon which we can distance and divide, the pursuit of unity in the Body of Christ is difficult but crucial. The work toward delightful diversity done today in God’s House is affirmation of the truth that we are better together, and it is preparation for the day when we will join with all nations God has made to glorify his name, for he is great and worthy of our celebration.
Holding you in the Light,
Work toward delightful diversity done today in God’s House affirms the truth that we are better together. It is preparation for the day when we join with all nations God has made to glorify his name. He is worthy of our celebration.Tweet
It’s Not too Late to Begin Your Celebration of the Light this Advent Season
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What I’m Reading Now
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