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Way too much fun at House Church

Updated: Oct 6, 2020

Steve was jumping around excitedly and talking a million miles an hour, his mask barely keeping up with his words-per-minute :-)

Eileen was her usual calm and peaceful self – the perfect partner for Steve.

Marousa rocked back in her chair with laughter as she told story after story that kept us in stiches.

Ceasar tried to convince us that he’s serious about building an ark on his property.

And who’s going to doubt a guy who runs an animal sanctuary in his backyard called Noah’s Ark Farm?

Leonard had quips and Derricka poured her heart out; and little Madison gets cuter by the day, while twelve-year-old Jacob is taller than I am! (Okay, that’s not too hard to do – but he is twelve after all!)

Peter had the biblical insight of the day and Anna was dying to hug somebody! (She is the world’s greatest hugger after all.)

…Ah, it sure was good to be together again for House Church Sunday…

For those who stayed home and watched the short-stream version of church online, I hope you’re continuing to get as much out of the virtual medium as you can. We want everyone to feel safe and do whatever they think is best for them, especially our older and immunocompromised members.

But I sure hope this pandemic threat is over soon so you can gather with the rest of us – it’s so refreshing to actually be together again!

Paul expressed his deep desire to be with the brothers and sisters he loved so much in passages such as these:

“Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.” (2 Timothy 1:4)

“Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me, 13 I still had no peace of mind, because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said goodbye to them and went on to Macedonia.” (2 Corinthians 2:12-13)

“God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10 in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. 11 I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12 that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” (Romans 1:9-12)

In the passage above from Romans 1, we see that it was not just that Paul wanted to be with his friends for his own encouragement and refreshment, but he eagerly wanted to strengthen them as well (vs. 11). For Paul, it was mutually beneficial for he and the other disciples to gather together, since he knew they would mutually encourage each other’s faith (vs. 12).

And that’s what I experienced this past Sunday at the Hewitt’s house church: each of us mutually encouraging each other’s faith by the unique gifts God has given to us. That’s part of why gathering together is so beneficial.

But it’s more than that.

The synergy created by the group produces an impact that is greater than the sum of its parts.

That’s partly why online services will never replace in-person gatherings of the body of Christ but can only supplement them.

“What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.” (1 Corinthians 14:26)

That’s something we can’t reproduce in an online service: you.

You are uniquely gifted to enhance the rest of us. Without you there, we aren’t the same. And without us there, you aren’t the same.

Simply put, we need each other.

So, we continue to pray for this pandemic threat to subside so that we can all resume meeting together as God intended.

Meanwhile, for those of us who can and did meet together… it sure was refreshing!

(You can’t quite capture the fun at Noah’s Ark Farm any other way.

You just had to be there :-)

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