Tonight I (along with wife and friends) went to a “gospel singing” and fish fry at a nearby church. It was simply delightful. We sang for an hour and we ate for an hour. We lifted up the praises of God with enthusiasm (only people who love to sing come to singings – so the singing was very good). Some of the songs I didn’t care for, but sang with vigor because it was someone’s favorite song. We enjoyed great conversation with food prepared by the hosting congregation.
I think people have a lot of expectations of ‘church’. And it seems like every generation has their own specific expectations. I read from a wide variety of sources and each one seems frantic to meet the needs of all the various people that can be reached. We should have an urgency in reaching out. But I’m just wondering if we aren’t so concerned about meeting all these expectations that we lose sight of the simple beauty of sharing life over a plate of mostly unhealthy food.
I really believe that most people want to be seen, loved, accepted, and heard. I love how Jesus just stops the whole production and no matter the noisy objections looks into the eyes of Zacchaeus, the woman caught in adultery, laughing children, the woman with the issue of blood, the man dropped down through the roof, the woman weeping at the cross, the thief beside Him, fisherman Peter repeating his commitment to feed the sheep. Eye to eye. Nothing else in the entire world matters for that moment.
Can we remove some of the complications Churchianity has placed upon us …and get back to some simple basics?
Getting the message out.
That’s what I was reminded of tonight as we sang some songs and ate some food. And the presence of God brought peace into that place.