Sunday, June 15, 2008

Womb of Wonders

Church gatherings are a frustration to millions of people all over the world. Yes, there's millions more people who get their socks blessed off week in week out but the frustrated bunch are a sizeable contingent within the overall crowd. I think I stray in and out of both these camps fairly frequently. Most of this can probably be slotted under the broad statement often used in struggling relationships, "It's not you, it's me". But some of it isn't me.
On my journey of the last few years I've found that one of the hardest things about departing from an established form of church to try to create something new is to keep alive the inner hope that what you've glimpsed with the eyes of faith really is possible. It's really easy for the exciting newness, which will always be followed by a starker reality, to slide into an overall atmosphere of resignation. The little voice that whispers, "Actually, that thing you used to be part of, that's as good as it gets."
But I remain convinced of this: there is a point to communities of Christians gathering together regularly. What is that point? No less than this: Jesus intends his church to be a 'womb of wonders'. What I mean by that is - whenever his people gather in his name, with generous hearts, heeding the wisdom of the apostle Paul from 1 Cor 14:26, then all the potential of the resurrection morning is there too. Everyone present has the potential within them to contribute to the creation of the miracle environment. That should be our expectation. And expectation is far more than just waiting for something to happen, for some divine gift to land in our lap; God has designed us to be more than mere recipients of miracles, he has given us the potential to be initiators of new creation in the here and now.
And that’s how I'm trying to think of church, specifically in its gathered form. I'm beginning, all over again, to expect that my offering, however tentative and humble, however broken I may be, can trigger a chain-reaction. My hunch is that God is also cultivating that attitude in many others too, stirring a shared expectation that as we make our faltering efforts to show grace to one another Christ himself will rush to join in, enthusiastically pouring out his blessing amongst us.

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1 comment:

Jonathan Blundell said...

hey thanks for your interview for something beautiful podcast.
we just posted it.