No, the title of this post is not a mistake. Occasionally, I like to describe one of the times that we gather together with our brothers and sisters in Christ. People usually like these posts, especially people who are interested in more simple types of gatherings, but have little or no experience with it.
But, there’s a problem. All of our weekly gatherings are different. I mean, there are some “typical” elements or activities, but every meeting is atypical is some way. Still, I thought I would describe one of our recent gatherings for those who may be interested.
Our meeting time begins at 10:30 a.m., which means that is when people start to arrive. The first ones who arrive begin arranging the chairs and hanging out, catching up with each other, talking about what has happened since the last time they’d seen each other. As more and more people arrive, there are usually little groups scattered around the room, with people moving from group to group to talk to different people.
On this particular day, a couple who I had met online met with us for the first time. They were traveling through our area and spent the day with us. They told us about their service to prisoners in their area and their plans to start a halfway house in another state.
After they talked about their service to prisoners, we began sharing prayer requests and praying for each other. It’s always encouraging and challenging to hear what’s going on in everyone’s lives, and to see people truly caring for one another, both by praying and by making plans to help each other later. At one point, a brother shared a passage from Psalms that God had used to convict him about his attitude during the last week. Again, we prayed for him and for one another.
We had previously decided to begin studying Paul’s letter to the Ephesians this week. So, we were going to read through the entire book for our first week studying Ephesians. A couple of people would read each chapter, then between chapters someone would request a song that we would sing together.
After 10-12 people had taken turns reading through Ephesians, and after we sang 6-7 songs, a few people shared their thoughts from the reading. They each focused on different passages, and others joined the discussion, encouraging each other from the Scriptures. As we wound down, we decided together that we would continue studying through the book of Ephesians one or two paragraphs per week, beginning with Ephesians 1:1-14 the next time we get together.
But, even then, we were not finished gathering together. We continued to hang out and talk with one another for a long time. At this time, we also usually set up tables for lunch. But, because of a few things that were going on, we decided to eat lunch with several of our friends at our home. So, after talking for another hour or so, we went to our house to share beef and vegetable soup.
Unfortunately, I can’t share everything that happened that day. The more important things that were said and done are too personal to share in public (both for me and for others involved). But, hopefully, this will give you an idea of what happens during a typical atypical weekly gathering with our brothers and sisters in Christ.