Friday, January 25, 2013

Showing up

I used to teach a small group of adults at my church.  We met every Sunday night in a different person’s home, and would spend time eating a meal together, and discussing a passage of Scripture. I remember one particular evening, we were all in a funk — all of us.  It was winter, dark early, cold, snowy, and one of those nights when it would have been easy to just stay home. We talked about the struggle we each had getting up the energy to walk out the door to our cars and come to our group. Even though most of us felt the same on this particular night, we were all there.

So we all had a weak moment together.  It was highly unusual for us all to feel the same way, so we began to talk about why we had come. Someone said guilt, which I totally resonated with.  Another said they had come out of obligation. And another said they missed the week before, and they just didn’t want to miss two weeks in a row. One person blurted out, I didn’t want to come, but my wife made me, so I put on my pants and just showed up!

“I just showed up.” I think there is something to be said about “showing up.” Now, I don’t mean to over spiritualize this, but that evening turned out to be one of the most meaningful conversations we had in weeks, talking about what it meant to be faithful to each other, to be accountable to a group of people, and that we were better people because we showed up.  It probably goes without saying that after that evening, no one wanted to miss, simply because we showed up.

Well, this weekend and next week is revival. I’m not certain about what God wants to say to us this week. I know we all have very busy schedules, and it isn’t possible for us to attend every evening service.  I’m not going to take attendance, and I don’t think God will either. I’m neither one who believes that God is limited to working in certain designated spaces. In reality, there is nothing special about a space; but there is about those who gather in the space. 

What I think I’m trying to say is that something happens when we gather. Something does happen when we “show up.” Just like it did for my small group that Sunday evening some two years ago, I believe that God has something in mind for us this next week. Because when we show up, we can be assured he is always there waiting for us. In the meantime, will you help us all prepare by praying?

Pray for Susie Shellenberger, that the message God has laid on her heart is straight from His heart to ours, through her.

Pray for Kyle Owens as he leads worship in chapel in the mornings, and in the evening services at College Church.

Pray for Kendall Franklin, and the staff at College Church.

Pray for those among us whose relationship with God has yet to be restored.

Pray for renewal for our campus.

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