Gathering to Share Life
Sometimes Sunday mornings are hard. It is hard to wake up early on a day off and get everyone out the door. Wouldn’t it be easier just to stay in bed and listen to a podcast of a sermon and maybe hum along with some worship music instead? Yet, every Sunday millions of Christians get up and go to church. But why?
When we walk in the doors of a church, we proclaim the power of presence. One of our declarations is that we won’t just share space; we will cross over and share life. In order to share life, we have to first show up and take up some space. Consistent presence is the first step toward sharing life!
Sharing life can be hard sometimes. But thankfully, God never asked us to do it our own. Even for an introvert like me, this is good news! Through baptism, God has brought us into his family, and that’s why we gather each week: to remember and celebrate that we are a part of the family of God. The author of Hebrews says it this way, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (10:24:25). We need each other to speak words of encouragement, to witness to the Spirit’s work, and to grow in discipleship.
The gift of shared life becomes evident often in the most desperate times. When a loved one dies, the community gathers to show the bereaved that they are surrounded by the love of Christ. We need the faith of others to carry us when all we can pray is “help my unbelief.” Sunday morning then becomes a time for those who have entered into Christ’s life to share that life with each other. It’s like the image of this fountain: we share the water of life we’ve been given with each other. We pour into others while at the same time we are receiving from others. Each and every person is necessary!