03 July 2006

On Freedom

Here are some things that I love about my church.

I love that we operate with a flat heirarchy and in a team-based environment. I love that we show up on Sunday mornings with about a third of a service and know that the Holy Spirit is going to show up and fill in the rest. Sometimes that feels very irresponsible, but it always works and it's always beautiful.

Yesterday it felt downright scary. I was more nervous than I've ever been. We were set to explore the Beauty of God in Freedom and had left a few more holes than even I am comfortable with. Actually, if I can be totally honest, I was being lazy or crabby or something. I just didn't feel like filling them in. I couldn't find the time and desperately needed to spend some time with LightGirl after she'd been at hockey camp all week. So I should have done it while she was gone, but I lacked the inspiration then.

Setting up for worship was crazy ... crazier than usual. Someone backed into our van in the parking lot. Someone else came in and said, "We have a slideshow of our time at Young Life camp, can you put it in the computer to show?" LightHusband handled both without my knowledge or stress. Except the bit about the slideshow and my response (after it was too late) was, "We can't have people coming in 15 minutes before service and throwing this at us." Except ... well ... really, that's kind of what we're all about and I need to let go of it. We're about people bringing their gifts and talents to the Common Table to share.

Then as I watched this unasked for, unprepared for, stress-adding slide show, I felt my pinched little heart grow a few sizes. I gazed in wonder at the Holy Spirit yet again doing His thing amongst us. For ... there it was. The perfect opening for a service on freedom. It was the Young Life camp for young people who have special needs and our three high school students had gone to be buddies to them. When they got up to speak afterwards, I heard them say that by the end of the week, there was neither special nor normal, but all were one in Christ Jesus. And all were free, because they had heard the truth and it had set them free. Of course ... being teenagers they didn't actually speak those words. They said it like this, "Wow, I couldn't believe it. We loved those kids. And ahh by the end of the week we were like you know all of us together intertwined and like we couldn't tell anyone apart anymore. It was so way cool." And they had big shiny authentic grins on their faces.

Because of the time that took, we had to cut a couple of elements of the rest of the service. We didn't have any open prayer. We didn't sing the Doxology. We didn't really have enough time to paint the pieces to the new communion table cloth we're making. But we had left ourselves free to hear God speak to us and somehow that was more important.

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