I love my little church. I love how it functions more like a family than a group of friends. How it is a jumble of twenty-somethings and toddlers and old men and babies, who all know each other by name and laugh together over coffee and donuts and break bread and drink wine. If you were to ask me to describe us in three words, I would say loving, transparent, and boisterous.
This summer we're taking intentional time to pray and seek Jesus. (Like, duh, I know. But also, sometimes it's good to make a serious point of it, all together). So we gather up our little body and sing good old hymns and pray out loud.
It feels very holy, and not just for the obvious reasons.
The other night my friend Meagan read to us from Acts, about how the early church functioned and what that means for us. Sounds like they were pretty much a jumble of twenty-somethings and toddlers and old men and babies, who all knew each other by name and functioned more like a family than friends.
While we sang, I thought about that. About a group of people hundreds and hundreds of years ago coming together for the exact same purpose--to meet with Jesus--and to sing songs and pray together. I felt a deep, holy connectedness, all the way back to Roman streets and candlelit tables and the very first generation of people who called themselves the body of Christ.
It seems to me nothing short of miraculous that one gospel could bolster and encourage and bring together generation after generation, community after community, heart after heart, so seamlessly and beautifully.
The consistent heartbeat of the Church throughout history is one of the most convincing proofs I can think of for the unshakable truth of the gospel. (You know, besides God Himself.)
We are doing nothing new when we come together to pray. Nothing millions of other before us haven't done, in seasons of joy, or grief, or excruciating pain, or wild celebration. And that feels really good. Really good to be a part of something so old and sacred and special. Something that is not just a routine for the sake of show, but something we know can shake the world to its core.
Walking into the presence of God together is not something we do for kicks and giggles. It is the first and last resort. It is our lifeblood. Just as it was for the first church.
When our hope seems lost, we gather and pray. When our community is broken, we gather and pray. When we want revival, we gather and pray.
And because we are a family, we eat cookies together, too. We pray, we sing, we sit in the presence of our Maker, and we eat the best chocolate coconut oat cookies ever (because sometimes it's my week to help with snacks and I seize the opportunity to try out another recipe from Bread and Wine).
People say that prayer isn't the answer to anything. That it isn't enough.
I solidly disagree. When the body of Christ gathers together and lifts up a united cry for grace, justice, and revival, God hears. And when God hears, He acts. When God acts, friend, it is BEYOND what we could ever ask or imagine.
So, like our brothers and sisters before us, we will gather our community and lift up holy hands in worship and petition.
And we will be met.