Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Kingdom of God Breaks Through in Missio Lux, part 2

Jesus loved to be invited to parties. We find him at parties through all of his three years of ministry and much of the time the parties he attended would be considered "outlandish" by the religious authorities of the day.

So, one of my questions these days is why as people that follow Jesus we find it so hard to have parties? Is it because it doesn't feel like we are working for our faith? or is it because they aren't vital for our schedule and we are so filled up to the top of "doing" that anything that isn't completely vital has to be weeded out?

I like parties. More and more I understand that two things are important to Jesus: relationships and experiencing his presence and his power.

Well, parties fits into these two categories....we invite people into our homes and we anticipate that because Jesus cares about relationships that he will bring his presence and his power into our gatherings.

Last night Bill and I hosted our third huddle dinner. We ended up sitting around three different tables. One table was sharing thanks for how they saw Jesus showing up in their lives. The second table was filled with kids that were having fun being included in the party, and the third table was playing a rousing game of Sorry with both kids and adults, while others at the table chatted and cheered the competitive play.

At my table, one woman shared how joyful she felt on the way to our party. She loves being in an atmosphere of people hungry to know Jesus better and she loves the sense of belonging she has in Missio Lux. She knows that she and her children are more than a number~they are valued and they are valuable. I was thrilled that her 7 year old daughter spent two hours typing a story about Jesus and brought it to read to me. She read the story at our dinner table too; while we all listened intently. When she grows up, she will know that her presence was valued in her community of faith--even by adults who are not her parents.

I mentioned at the beginning of our dinner that communion was available for anyone that felt led to take it with others around their table. At one point towards the end of the evening, a few of us were talking and one woman got a "knowing" about an area where she was being healed and Jesus' healing power showed up and took her another layer deeper in her healing. We experienced his presence and power in a tangible way. Our response? Let's celebrate the table with Jesus by sharing communion.

Most left at a reasonable time that one usually stays at parties, but last night, Jesus didn't seem to be done attending the party. Bill and I and three other couples ended up in our family room while we shared authentically about the challenges of being married. We all kept saying, "You struggle with that too?" Kairos moments continued to happen as our lives went deeper with each other. We ended up praying for each other as we recommitted ourselves to love our spouses more fully. Once again, Jesus invited us to his table as each couple served communion to one another.

This morning I came downstairs and saw some of the remnants of the party....and I just smiled.

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