Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Wednesday Recap: Smaller Church - HUGE HEART

Wednesday recap from New Hope -

-This afternoon we had 15 - I counted - kids from the neighborhood waiting outside in the rain when I got back from the Post Office. It was over an hour before our fellowship meal and I didn't have the heart to leave them in the rain. It was like herding cats. Pray with me about what we could do to build relationships not just with these kids, but with their families. Is there something we could do before supper with them to help that happen?

-We had two developmentally disabled adults with us for supper tonight. Sometimes they can go overboard with the volume of their interaction and persistent pursuit of it. And yet they teach us so much about how we are to relate to people with the love of Jesus. So we love them as they are. And in the doing of it, we change to be more loving.

-It was potluck night and cuisine from all over the world covered the table. People brought their best to share with their family of faith. Some set up, others cleaned up. We celebrated a birthday together (Happy Birthday Kira!) We celebrated BEING together. We partied like it was AD 34. (Insider joke - Christians shared everything back in the day - everyday)

-Once dinner was over, we spent some time around the tables talking about the needs in our community agonizing over the number of families we could help get through the Christmas season. There's more of a need than ever. We're going to do everything we can. A lot of times in church people get mad because in their view the church is doing too much. Well, the quickest way to start a fight last night would have been to try and do too little.

-And then we prayed.

There's no telling how many prayers I have heard over the years - thousands, no doubt. But the sound of multiple people praying - hearing the same names repeated over and over and petitions lifted -never gets old.

Tonight there were several times as I prayed silently and listened to others praying that I quietly said "amen". From our lips to God's ears as they say. Let it be so Lord. Hear our prayers.

But then Diane prayed for our niece Abby - and her mom, and broke down in asking God to bless Abby's mom, confessing she didn't know how anyone could handle it. Diane's heart just couldn't contain everything she was feeling. I think it got really quiet in heaven as God heard her and the silent pleas of the rest of us for God to give strength, comfort, and hope to a girl, a Mom, and a family in need of it all. You could feel the Holy Spirit at work - right then - right there.

Prayer... matters.

I thanked God again last night for being placed in the company of the saints at New Hope.

Faith. Hope. Love.

And the greatest of these is love.

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