Each Second Saturday of the month, Jeremy and I host a worship gathering in our home.
We’ve done this four gatherings so far. We meet in our home, and invite a whole bunch of different people. Some we’ve met in churches, some are from the neighbourhood, some are friends we’ve met through different activities and groups we’ve joined since we moved here. Some gatherings have six or seven of us, some have had 13-20. And, no matter how many people are there, we know that God is with us.
We start each time together with singing. Then we read some Scripture together, pray with and for each other - and then, the highlight of the evening. We eat. We share in a potluck dinner and eat and talk and get to know each other in new and deeper ways as we do so.
I love the idea of a potluck after a time of worship and prayer. In the early church, believers would gather for worship, and then have a meal (often called a “love feast”) during which they would revel in God’s provision and presence with them. It was an extension of communion, in a sense - this sacramental meal in which Christ would feel especially present among His people. That’s why we eat together at these monthly gatherings, so that we might see and feel and taste Christ with us as we share together. And, we do a potluck because that way everyone has a stake in the meal. Everyone has a role to play, something they can contribute to the table and to our shared life together.
While the actual ins and outs of these gatherings are still a work in progress, they’re becoming one of my favourite moments in each month. I love seeing the diversity of life stages and needs and dreams and faith journeys that come into our living room each Second Saturday. I love seeing my home full of friends and music and food, and feeling the Spirit’s presence in the middle of it all. I love the beautiful chaos that happens when you bring a group of people together to worship and to just be together for awhile.
Our last gathering was really more of a Christmas party. We had 25 people in our home, from toddlers to empty-nesters (and even a couple of tiny babies thrown in the mix!). Some had deep faith in Christ already, some are asking questions, and some just came for a party. We sang some Christmas carols, ate some food, drank some wine, and had a wonderful time together. And, for me, it really ushered in Christmas. It was a picture of the life and light that Christ was born to give. Of the hope that we have in God’s coming again - when all will be welcome at the table, when peace and joy and grace will reign.
As we head into the new year, I’m excited to see what God will do with these monthly gatherings. Of course I have my own dreams and hopes for where this will go next, but I’m prayerfully looking forward to what God would have us do with this.
And, of course, if you live locally - you’re welcome to join us at 5:00 pm on the Second Saturday of each month! Our next gathering will be January 14th. (Just email me for our address!)
In the meantime, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and blessings in 2017!