I was away from my church for two weeks. It’s called vacation. I am fortunate to have enjoyed some of God’s beautiful creation. I spent some good time with my family. It was a good vacation.
What I realized I missed, however, was my church.
As a pastor, church is a funny thing.
Going back to work wasn’t easy. There are a million little things that didn’t happen while I was away. There are not church elves that turn the unfinished cut shoe leather into shoes while I’m gone. Most of the leather is there on the workbench where I left it.
I’ve got to get back into things. Check up on folks I check up on. Start working on sermons again. Start blogging again, etc.
What I most miss, however, is just the normality of Christian fellowship.
Tonight I’ll meet again with our regular Tuesday evening men’s group. It’s about as strange and yet ordinary a group as you could imagine. We will greet each other, smile, shake hands, drink water and diet soda and some fruit that someone will bring. We will open 2 Peter 2 and read though the chapter together, each of us sharing something of what it says and how it relates to our thoughts and lives. We will go around the circle and share a joy or concern for prayer. We will adjourn.
I realize after 2 weeks without it how dependent I am on my little group and my church. My faith needs to see their faces, to hear their voices, to do nothing special but to be together, to affirm one another, to love, to care, to pray, to support.
In the midst of as severe a modern drought as we’ve had in California I’m reminded that it is the common things in life that are most essential. Air, water, food. We take these things for granted until we don’t have them and then suddenly priorities get re-arranged quickly.
Nothing special will probably happen tonight. George will be George. Morriss will be Morriss. Maury will be Maury. I don’t know who else will show. It could just be Jack or Brian or Jay or Anthony. It doesn’t matter. It is the church. We are the church. This is how the Spirit keeps faith alive.