Yesterday, Sunday, June 8, was a strange day for us in one way, but in another way it reinforced the importance of gathering together with brothers and sisters as often as possible. You see, the church that we’re part of rents a reception room on Sundays for our weekly meeting. Yesterday morning, when a few people arrived to start getting the room ready for our meeting, they found that a construction crew was working on the roof. Because of the roof work, there was debris falling into the room where we meet, there was loud noise coming from above, and there was the strong smell of industrial glue in the air. The smell was so bad that one of the men started getting a headache after being in the room for only a few minutes. So, we cancelled our Sunday morning meeting.
To many people, this would probably be awful! How can a church cancel their Sunday morning meeting? Our answer? The church should not meet week by week, but day by day. If the church meets day by day, then missing one meeting – even if it is the Sunday morning meeting – will not be an “awful” thing to happen.
So, how do we meet day by day? Well, I can’t answer for others who are part of the church, but I can share with you how our family has met day by day for last 10 days or so.
Thursday, May 29: That evening, Margaret and Miranda went to a party at a friend’s house. After the party, they brought another friend home with them, and we all piled into the van and headed down into Raleigh for Krispy Kreme doughnuts. We were joined by another carload of friends, and another friend who was already in Raleigh. This has become a “traditional” way to celebrate birthdays among some of our brothers and sisters.
Friday, May 30: Some friends invited us to their house for a cookout. Our family and two other families – along with a few extra children – enjoyed several hours of cooking and playing and talking and praying with brothers and sisters in Christ.
Saturday, May 31: Margaret, Jeremy, and Miranda helped one of our friends pack her belongings in her house because she was getting ready to move. While we hate to see our brothers and sisters move away, we always try to help them pack and prepare to move.
Sunday, June 1: We had a weekly meeting with the church. After our meeting, several brothers and sisters stayed for a simple lunch. We’ve been staying for lunch for the last several months, and it has been a great way to get to know some people that we usually only see on Sundays.
That evening, some friends who had been out of town came home. They dropped by our house, and we decided to order pizza. It was great to get to catch up with and see what God has been doing in their lives.
Tuesday, June 3: We visited with some friends that evening. They had just had a death in the family and were getting ready to go out of town. I’m glad that we were able to spend time with them before they left.
Wednesday, June 4: A young couple invited us to their house for dinner. They’ve only been married for a few weeks, and we enjoyed the time with them. We try to practice hospitality, yet we are always grateful when other brothers and sisters include us in their lives also.
Thursday, June 5: Jeremy and I attended a discussion group that evening. There were close to twenty brothers and sisters who gathered together to discuss a Christian’s ethical response to ecology.
Friday, June 6: Margaret and Jeremy started mowing the lawn of some of our friends. He had back surgery lately, and we’ve been encouraged as to how the church has reached out to them and helped them. They were not able to finish the lawn because of the heat.
That evening, we went to some friends’ house to surprise the husband on his birthday. We all hid in a back bedroom while the couple came home (yes, the wife knew about it and planned it). She sent him into the bedroom to get something and we all yelled, “Surprise!” when he opened the door. Several of us guys stayed until almost midnight playing Risk.
Saturday, June 7: I finished mowing our friends’ lawn. Then, we went to the house of the friend who was moving (see May 31). We helped her and her family pack up her truck. It was a very emotional (tearful) time as we said, “Goodbye, for now” to our dear sister.
That evening, we went to dinner with a big group of friends. We had a wonderful meal at a Caribbean restaurant in Raleigh – not one of those chains, but one run by a man from Cuba and another man from the Dominican Republic. The food was excellent and the conversation was even better!
And, all of these meetings with brothers and sisters in Christ do not count the times when people dropped by our house, or we dropped by someone else’s house. I also didn’t include the time that Margaret, Jeremy, and Miranda spent with brothers and sisters in Christ at Tae Kwon Do. Nor did I include the times when I had lunch with friends.
So, when Sunday morning, June 8, came around, and we were not able to meet with the church for our normal weekly meeting, we were disappointed. But, we felt like we had met with the church already that week. We had spent time talking with, praying with, eating with brothers and sisters in Christ. We had heard about what God was doing in their lives. We had shared our life with them, and they had shared their life with us. We had loved, cared for, served, encouraged, comforted, taught, and been taught by one another. We had been the church day by day…
So, what did we do on Sunday? We used it as an opportunity to spend time with some brothers and sisters that we don’t normally get to spend time with. We knew that some friends at Tae Kwon Do and some of our neighbors met with another church in our area. So, we met with them, and even had lunch with our neighbors.
We’re learning how the church in Acts following Pentecost could meet day by day.
But, as we’re learning what it means to share our lives with other brothers and sisters in Christ, God has also been pointing out something that is missing in our lives. But, that will have to wait for tomorrow’s post…