This week my son was briefly sick (he ran fever but didn't seem to lose a bit of energy!) so my wife and I agreed it would be best to keep him and our daughter home from our weekly church prayer meeting. Our core planting group meets every Wednesday night rotated around in each others' homes. This has become a sweet time of prayer, accountability, and fellowship. We try to keep it to an hour or so but always fail miserably. It is just such a joy to be together. So as I'm headed out the door to prayer meeting with my family staying behind my wife shares how sad she is not to be able to go. This made me glad.
What? Did I really say I was glad that my wife was sad? Yep. Her sadness reflected that what was being cultivated in our church was true community. It is not superficial. It is not one more event or program. It is not one more spoke on the wheel of a busy life. Our church family is the hub Christ uses to shape, encourage, and equip us for all the spokes He's appointed us to. For a variety of reasons we're also taking two Wednesdays off from meeting-- and I'm already grieved not to see my friends during the week. Oh we'll still gather informally here and there, and naturally we'll gather on the Lord's Day. My grief is just a reflection of how invested we are becoming into each other.
Our prayer is that it would also be a contagious kind of community. We can't get cozy but must bridge out and bring in. I long to see unbelievers gather with us so that the gospel can be heard AND SEEN. What a blessing true fellowship is-- a fellowship that can only be found in Christ and wrought by God's grace. Such fellowship causes sadness to produce gladness!