Sunday our church gathered. And while we had worship at 1434 N 30th road, that’s not what I’m talking about. Because while we worship in a building and God’s table, font, and pulpit are all a part of that building, the church is something different, something more. It is a people.
Often on a Sunday, there are parts of our church who are unable to come and worship alongside us. They watch us gather, and sing, and commune all on cable TV. Some sing with us from home. They read the bulletin weekly and the Branch Newsletter monthly. They follow our programs and activities and cheer us on. About monthly their pastor comes and brings communion from our Lord’s table. And yet, for the most part, these members of our body exist with minimal contact from the rest of us.
But this past Sunday was different. Fifteen of us crammed into vehicles and drove from place to place, to gather with them. We sang songs that proclaimed what God has done in the world and what God is doing coming to it again. We caroled about God’s grace and how God has accomplished that through an infant. We came with Christmas cheer to folks that may or may not often get to see our faces.
In 1 Corinthians 12, St. Paul talks about how the church is lessened if even one part of the body is excluded. This past Sunday, we gathered all the body. We included everyone. We visited and sang with each other about Jesus coming into our world. We celebrated what our Lord has done and is doing in Christmas. We got to see each other and to remember how God has called us together in this tiny infant that is to come in a little less than two weeks.
And so, as you navigate the chaos of this season, if you get a chance, add to your Christmas list of postcards those that we often don’t get to see in the church building but are very much a part of us. Send them well wishes and if you get the chance, go visit for an hour. Their names and addresses are printed in our newsletter. This could also include our college students who are away but still a part of us too. Because we are the church: called to care for one another, to encourage one another in the faith, and share that love that God has with the world.
Also, if you have other thoughts on how the church could gather in other ways, let me know.