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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Praising God Together

I am home from our first "meeting" and thanking God for brothers and sisters in Christ. We were a diverse lot, that's for sure. But with one thing in common; a desire to let Jesus Christ be our focus as we shared His life in us with one another. And it really wasn't that hard to do. Once the mandatory "ice breaking" took place, folks were glad to share what was on their heart.

It wasn't about how "wrong" regular church was, but about how we are learning to be one in Him in the way that He intended. It was about hearts that have been searching for true fellowship and community, and are hopeful that it really can happen. It was about not caring what "denomination" you were from; some of us have a mixed "pedigree" when it comes to church background anyway. It was about realizing that we probably agree on all the essentials, and being willing to leave the rest to the side for now. It was about learning, and growing, and moving ahead together, one step at a time, with Jesus leading the way.

And last but not least, it was about sitting around a table, sharing His provision of a delicious meal, getting to know one another, being encouraged, and realizing that we all have a lot to learn, but not being afraid to admit it.

I think I learned that we don't have to meet certain expectations, or have any mandatory "experiences" or have everyone pray, or everyone sing. I think I learned that trusting Holy Spirit removes all the pressure to perform or cram in all the "things" that we used to think were necessary to qualify as "real church". I learned that I can just be me; we can just be us, together. And God will ALWAYS show up.

11 comments:

Walking Church said...

Great Post - oh to find that illusive unity in Christ....I am so thrilled for you...we are built for community...real genuine, loving and transparent.

I have several men with whom I do breakfast with at least once a month...it is my church...a whole lot of encouraging spuring and praying in the parking lot happens.

RJW said...

YES, YES, YES!!

"Where two or three are gathered..."

We're so pleased for you!

As to Alvin's comment concerning touching the ark: God tabernacles in His people now; we are the Holy of Holies! Way cool thought! We are under the Mercy Seat (Christ) and hidden under the wings of the cherubim. Our wood(flesh) has been overlaid with gold(righteousness). And the Mercy Seat has no depth dimension; Grace!!! And God resides in us through His Holy Spirit!! We don't need priests to carry the Ark for we have become both the Ark and the priests! (I know the Ark is a type of Christ in the OT.)

Sorry, couldn't resist. :)

Ruth said...

awesome I wanna come LOL

Amy said...

Maureen,
I'm so glad it went well! It truly sounds like it was good, solid, genuine, loving fellowship. May you enjoy more of these experiences with these brothers and sisters and grow in deeper friendship with them!

Blessings,
~Amy :)
http://amyiswalkinginthespirit.blogspot.com

Maureen said...

Hi guys, thanks for stopping by. I am still thanking God for the way He brought us together yesterday. And what a different atmosphere from what "regular" church has been for me. There was such a sense of freedom, unity and anticipation, all wrapped up in that wonderful peace that only God's Spirit can bring. It makes me think of the time when we will ALL meet at the Lord's Table in heaven. Wow! Won't that be the most excellent fellowship! We can't even begin to imagine it.

Ike said...

God ordains means for His people to be saved and persevere in the faith... by sitting under the Word and the sacraments. Meeting in fellowship is essential for the body of Christ and being a Christian. I think this can be done in a church building or a home. Either way.....Hebrews 10:25 applies.

Ruth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ruth said...

Ike,
There are lotz of people who 'sit under the word' and 'sacraments.' but this is not salvation. It can very much be just a religious practise with no life in it. The Spirit is the life - giver.

Fellowship can happen in many unique ways -the important thing is to recognize it and appreciate it and embrace it - wherever and whenever. If we limit fellowship to our own view of what it should be like rather than Gods, then we suffer great loss.

That is what is being conveyed in Heb 10:25. In regards to the purpose Paul was describing to these Jews (who certainly knew how to gather in a temple and observe tradition but it wasn't life giving) something different, it was not to 'sit under the word/sacraments' as you put it, but it was to gather & provoke one another unto love & good deed. Perhaps what was most important to Paul was even the purpose, not so much the when and where of gathering. which is precisely what this group which Maureen has shared on , is doing. \\o//

What is purely essential is a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Ike said...

I agree with you Ruth. Many people are sitting in church (under the Word and Sacrament) and it's little more than a religious activity (I said His people). In fact, it happens all the time. And I agree that we shouldn't limit "fellowship" to our own view but submit to what "gathering together" means from Scripture. Again.....I'm not saying I know what that is!.........I'm saying it should be "our" goal!

Regarding Heb 10:25. It is presumptuous to think Paul wrote the book. In the context I used this verse was not to prove we are to sit under word/sacrament (the books of Acts & Tim. do that)......but my purpose was to show that the bible teaches us not to neglect our gathering together... In any case, Heb 10:25 does encourage Christians not to give up meeting together and it "provokes" us to love and good works. This idea still carries the truth that Christian perseverance is a community endeavor.
I'm not asking you or anybody else to agree with me on anything I say......I've been married almost 39 years and I have learned that I am wrong almost all the time!..........and its good for me that my wife is not interested in computers!!!
By the way Maureen.......I'm glad all went well!!

Leonard said...

This is everywhere I want to be...

"I think I learned that trusting Holy Spirit removes all the pressure to perform"

Best Rest to us all...
Leonard

William said...

I think the persecution the early Christians suffered made it easy to be satisfied with the kind of meeting you just experienced.

These days with all the various distractions and entertainments, we try to build up a church experience that will somehow compete.

When you are a stranger in the world, as Christ said we are, meetings like the one you describe should be sufficient, as they are an oasis from this hostile world. That Chritian who has fellowship with the world will never find peace and joy in your gathering.