The past year has been a most interesting one for myself and our family. We have watched our once-great church home of some 17 years go through mismanagement, confusion, and an emotional and painful split, followed by a loss of some members, a period of wondering and wandering, and finally, now, a chance to start over.
For some odd and serendipitous reason, I have become involved in the begining of something new. A new birth, if you will. On Sunday mornings, I am meeting with a small group of younger (definition of young which I hope might include me!) couples, who desire a safe place to grow and nuture their faith. A welcoming community. A new beginning. And even as I write these words, I realize they are actually a form of a plea unto God; may this be so with us. With our little beginning band of believers.
I have come to reflect on how precious this new thing is. How important this little collection of people can be. And ironically, how this links directly and personally to the things that Tod Bolsinger has been talking about the past several days. Just look at the words of Acts 2:41-47:
41That day about three thousand took him at his word, were baptized and were signed up. 42They committed themselves to the teaching of the apostles, the life together, the common meal, and the prayers. 43Everyone around was in awe--all those wonders and signs done through the apostles! 44And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common. 45They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person's need was met. 46They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, 47as they praised God. People in general liked what they saw. Every day their number grew as God added those who were saved.
Baptized. Signed up (not: went out on their own to Starbucks). Committed (not: showed up when they felt like it, or the mood hit them). Life together (not: Bowling Alone). Common meals, prayers, people in awe, wonders and signs, wonderful harmony, holding everything in common (not: my OWN stuff).
Meals at home, every meal a celebration. Joyful. And people liked what they saw.
A church. Imagine that!