I'm joyful to share that on November 18th we will leave the doors of our church closed, and will walk across the street to worship in a different set of pews, at First Congregational Church.
When the people of First Church came across the street to our worship space last May, I thought "well this will be fun." And it was! But it was much more than just fun. It was, to boldly take up one of our big church words, incarnational; embodied, en-fleshed. Our singing was strong, the energy of adventure was palpable. After worship, before I even got to Coffee Hour, half a dozen people had asked me, "When are we going over there?" or "When are you coming to us?" (from the First Churchers) I was caught off guard in the most spirit-warming way by the level of communal joy.
There's this funny thing about getting to know God deeper and deeper in one place and community...that even though we know intellectually that there are other Christians (yes, even across the street), we don't really know if we're "One Body in Christ" until we actually make it so. Until our voices mingle in prayer and song. Until we share the same silence. Until we share the one bread. Until we incarnate it.
God takes our bodies very seriously. The eternal Word got enfleshed to be with us in a body, in Jesus. And Jesus' resurrection was of his body, not just a spirit. So I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised last May! I'm so pleased you all spoke up to affirm what we made real that day. I'm so grateful to have "Recognized Jesus" in a deeper way, as we are trying to pay attention to this year.
If you are in town November 18, I hope you'll come and make the One Body real again with our sisters and brothers at First Church. This time I'll plan ahead to be surprised by joy!