Tonight was a great night of Christian community. Our community of faith met over at Mark and Barb’s home for dinner, worship and some good discussion. Deb led a wonderful time of worship from Psalm 29. You just want to join in with the climactic verse in Psalm 29:9, “And in his temple all cry, ‘Glory!’” God is so awesome! As Viv said, “God’s like a purring lion.” He lets us come close, but his roar can be earth-shattering.
Mark also shared a great quote from Timothy Ware’s book, The Orthodox Way. He says, “God is in all things yet also beyond and above all things. He is both ‘greater than the great’ and ‘smaller than the small.’ In the words of St. Gregory Palamas, ‘He is everywhere and nowhere, his is everything and nothing.'” What a great reminder that God permeates his creation and is still greater than his creation. As C.S. Lewis has said, there isn’t a square inch of space or a split-second of time that hasn’t been claimed by God through Christ. He’s made it. He fills it. He is Lord over all of it. And we get to commune with him in all of it! That rocks!
We also had a great time of discussion from chapter 3 in Living on Purpose. One of the exercises was to pretend we were 70 years old and we were writing a letter to a loved one describing our life of faith over the years. Wow! What an amazing time of laughter and tears as people shared the deepest dreams of their hearts. It was more than just “What do I want to do with my life.” It was “What kind of person do I want to become for God.” My words can’t begin to describe what I felt during that time of deep and honest disclosure. These are my friends, the people I love with all my heart. As they read their eloquent dreams for their lives, I fell in love with them even more. I couldn’t help but be moved as they revealed such genuine aspirations to live their whole lives for Jesus.
I also love the “Pace” (Peace) flag that Jennifer shared. That flag is flown all over Italy. Sometimes, we Americans are so myopic in our focus. There is a world beyond our borders and even beyond our vision that is crying out for peace. As apprentices to the Prince of Peace, may our lives look beyond our own little space and time and toward a day where God’s Shalom will cover the earth. And may we contribute to its coming now. As NT Wright states, may we stand in prayer within the places of suffering. May the groaning of our heart match the groaning of this planet and the groaning of the Spirit who intercedes in us (Romans 8:22-26). “The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace” (Psalm 29:11). Lord, may the Sons and Daughters of God be finally revealed and may our lives bring your peace to this world!
I also want to thank God for bringing two new friends from England — Viv and Helen — into our community’s life. Even though we only get to visit with them for a night and a morning on their holiday from England, we were blessed with their company and new friendship in the Lord.
Father, thank you. You enrich our lives with friendship and love, with laughter and tears, with dreams and hopes. And intermingled in all of this life is your presence. Thank you for initiating the journey we’re on. Thank you for setting our course. And thank you for traveling with us. Amen.