"Together in Battle" photo source
What is it?
In one moment, quickly, I know...I get to go to church!
What an opportunity to come together with brothers and sisters... from different backgrounds, ages and races... and worship together in song, prayer and the hearing of the Word!
I didn't grow up going to church---at least not regularly. But, through the years, it has become such a beautiful part of my week . A place to give and receive warmth and friendship. A place where I can come and think on my Lord... lift my eyes and remember. Another point in my week that ushers me into Truth and Life and Him. A place where I can sing and worship. An opportunity.
Regardless of where we have lived, we have always looked and sought out the gathering of His people.
We have walked many miles to go, taken 45 minute bus rides or paid the extra cost of a taxi each week. In each place our family has longed to gather with His people, and God has always given us this opportunity.
And, I love that everywhere we have lived, it has looked very different---taken different forms, different modes, different ways. I love the versatility of the church---throughout history it has moved and morphed--- it has looked different in Greece and Africa. It still looks different in Kazakhstan, Turkey and Japan. When the village Kazakhs worship they do so on a dombra, sitting on the floor around the dasterhan. When the Russian Baptists worship, the women cover their heads and the children stay in for the whole service. When the Africans worship, you can bet there will be dancing, clapping and vocal expressions of "hallelujahs!" I love this!
I love that church can be a place where I sit with, interact with and serve along side brothers and sisters that I might never know or normally have lunch with! I love that church is a place that honors the Word of God. I love hearing the thoughts and journey of my brother's interactions with Scripture. I love that my Father often uses the words spoken, the prayers prayed, the songs sung and the Word shared to challenge, stir or encourage my heart.
I love that I get to dress up a bit. (I know this is my cultural form---but this stay-at-home, work-from-home, home-schooling mom loves this!) I love that it feels somewhat similar to the excitement of going to a party. ...A bit dressed. ...A bit anticipating. ...my heart filled with the expectancy of a good time with friends.
I know this blog is simplistic. I know that I am not dealing with any or all the challenges and troubles in the Church and at church. But, I just had to share...
I am so excited that I get to go this morning!
What can I give this morning? I ask the Father. Who would you have me pray for or encourage?
What will I receive this morning? I ask my Father. ..excitement is rising in my heart for what He might show me today.
Thank you Father for Your Body, the Church. And, thank you Father for the church, the gathering of the Body, Your church. What a wonderful opportunity!