We know life is hard. It’s not fair and many people are marginalized. Relationships get complicated. But church keeps showing up. It’s the hope we offer the world. Here are a few places where I’ve seen church recently.
I asked a question on Facebook, “If you make a meal for a family in need, what are you making?” Kathy, an Asian American, responded, “Depends. I’ve bought homemade lentil soup and salad with wine. A potful of Japanese curry and rice. Sushi bake. Lasagna. Baked spaghetti.” God does love variety!
Kaitlin, of Potawatomi descent, will visit Michigan for the first time. Her tribe originated in this area, but were removed to other parts of the country. She’s set aside extra time in her travel schedule to learn more about the land her ancestors called home.
Jennie, an expat living in France. posted this for yesterday’s Sabbath: “So we host house church once a month at our place, and today these were the countries represented: France, America, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Lebanon, Indonesia, Cambodia, Madagascar, and La Reunion - with a touch of England, Samoa, El Salvador and Mexico coming through blood ties. These were the languages spoken: French, English, Arabic, Cambodian, Indonesian, Malgache, German, Spanish, and Samoan (right guys?) Now. Just guess how good the food was!”
Shawn has friends from Syria, and the husband was recently looking for a job. In a Facebook post, he asked locals if they knew of anyone hiring, and several people offered suggestions.
It wasn’t what Micha was expecting when she found out her little boy was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. Ace has stolen her heart, though, and she takes every opportunity she’s given to remind us of the great worth these individuals have in our communities.
Melanie and her husband adopted a little girl from Ethiopia. God thought they then needed Ethiopian neighbors - in Georgia. Yesterday, the two families shared a Pascha meal in honor of the Ethiopian Coptic Orthodox Easter.
Ira grew up Amish. He has since left this faith tradition, but still practices his faith. On social media, he’s always posting about visiting with his Amish neighbors and seeing family, because you don’t have to agree about everything to love one another.
I had a church meeting a few weeks ago, and my daughter tagged along. Ms. Bailey rescued her from boredom, loading her up in a Subaru and getting a treat at a local ice cream store.
On Easter Sunday, our church dispersed to other places of worship, because our building isn’t quite finished, so I visited a local Baptist church where I’d attended a mom’s group for years. I saw many familiar faces, including Pastor Paul, youth-pastor-turned-senior-pastor. Although it’s never been my church, I felt at home in God’s house.
The two stories I shared personally during Holy Week, about the one time my dad went to church with us, and the little boy who washed my mom’s feet on a Maundy Thursday, resonated with readers. It showed church taking care of one another.
Church has a tender place in our hearts, and we need to celebrate the times when it ushers in Thy kingdom come. It’s the church I want my daughter to know, and I believe it’s a church the world would find irresistible. I see evidence of it all the time, and I’m going to be more intentional about sharing it here.
Photo credit: Tanja Heffner (unsplash.com)