Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Few Thoughts on Sunday's Gathering

This past Sunday we gathered with three other families. Here's what happened:

On Saturday we all decided to meet together. One of the other families has a larger home than we do so that became the gathering place.

We arrived on Sunday morning at about 10:30. I was happy to meet one of the wives for the first time; we had heard about each other's existence but had never met. After we entered the house, took off our shoes, and put the food down on the counter we all just talked informally for 20-30 minutes. It was great to be able to simply spend time with these other people. I generally had conversations with the other men, but some with the ladies and kids as well.

At some point along the way we gathered the kids from the recesses of the house and came together in the living room. This family is blessed with a living space that can comfortably seat close to thirty people. Some of the folks sat on the floor while others took spots on chairs and couches. I got to sit between my wife and son. Our daughters were close by.

One man began by saying a prayer. We then spoke words of encouragement, read scripture, sang some songs (one man brought his guitar which was nice), spoke words about what God is doing in our lives, prayed some more, challenged one another, and asked questions of one another. We then turned to Revelation chapter 14 and studied it together (a couple of these families have been going through Revelation together for a while). As we studied it, we commented, asked questions, turned to other relevant passages, and discussed application.

After a while we all heard and felt our stomachs growling. This was a good sign to move the twenty feet to the kitchen. The moms went into food-prep-mode (which was quite impressive). We then joyfully partook of the Lord's Supper. We had bread, juice, and lots of other scrumptious food such as pot roast, chicken and cheese casserole, mashed potatoes, and garlic green beans. For dessert - apple crisp, brownies, and ice cream. I'm hungry right now thinking about it.

After the meal the kids scattered again. I went with a couple of other dads to sit back in the living room. We talked for a while abut family, jobs, and church. We encouraged one another with various struggles that we are having. Alice later told me that the ladies were doing much of the same. Interestingly, we didn't segregate by gender for any particular reason; it just sort of happened that way.

After much fellowship and food, we decided to leave for home at about 2:30. No one really wanted to go but we were getting tired. It was nice to be able to go home and rest for the remainder of the day.

7 comments:

Jonathan said...

Thanks for sharing a glimpse of your gathering time. I love how you are able to fellowship as a family in a natural relational way. I love that you were able to celebrate the Lords supper in a way other than sorrow and crackers. I appreciate the picture. Thanks.

Patricia said...

Eric, sounds like good-ole Biblical times. wonderful, and I can't help but picture Timothy and his Mother, doing pretty much the same. (wonder if they had apple crisp?) love to you and yours, and I miss ya'll terribly.

Eric said...

Jonathan,

You're welcome. It really was a joyful, relaxed, and edifying time. I absolutely love being with my family during the gathering. It's also wonderful to watch and listen to so many people participate.

Eric said...

Pat,

We miss you, too.

We are having a great time following the biblical model. There is something special about all being together with the freedom to encourage one another.

francisdrakeprivateer said...

Wonderful description. This is an experience which I have always loved when meeting with the family of God. Far better than the theatre of conventional institutional church.
P.S. do you really believe that Jesus did the last supper/communion with grape juice?

Eric said...

Frank,

I think Jesus used wine. I guess we're not following His model perfectly is using juice. Maybe eventually we will.

Jeffrey said...

Frank/Eric,

Interesting comment on the wine issue: I have friends who spent time in Germany and Austria. At first they were aghast at the German Christians' consumption of beer in celebrating some street evangelism activities. What they didn't realize was that the German Christians were equally disturbed at my friends' consumption of Coffee! Funny how even when we're consciously trying to avoid tradition-for-tradition's-sake, we fall into it.

I'm extremely happy that I'm saved in spite of my ignorance.

Jeff