Well, just a quick reminder…this Sunday is the second Sunday of the month, which means, of course… that this is the Sunday when we usually have our after-church pot-luck! Only this time, since it's summer, we're going to the Emory Valley pool for a cook-out…
Just wanted to make sure you get in on it!
Y’know, the reason we have those get-togethers is that hanging out and sharing food together is a super important way for us to be together, get to know each other, and encourage each other! It’s a way to make sure other brothers and sisters in the family of God feel included in your life!
It’s so easy to feel like you’re not really included sometimes!
I was reading about an experiment this dude did in a church. He asked for ten volunteers to come up on the platform in the front. When they got there, he formed them into a circle. Out of the circle of ten, he picked one of the bigger guys. He took him to other side of the platform and told him he had to do whatever he needed to do to break into that circle of people. He could pull. He could push. He could jump into them. It didn’t matter if he drew blood! He had fifteen seconds to break into that circle anyway he could!
The whole time he was giving these instructions, you could see the nine drawing a little closer, circling up a little tighter, locking arms, huddling up, gritting teeth, growing more and more determined that that guy was NOT going to breaking into their circle!
He ran at them and was repelled the first time. He stumbled back, took a longer run at it, hurled himself through the air in a full swan dive, and landed on the wall of their exclusive resolve that he wasn’t coming in! He pulled, scrapped, and shoved until half of them fell to the floor and he tumbled over the top to the middle of their collapsing circle.
It might have been a little “over the top” for a worship service but the important thing was that…he made it!
After the clapping (and bleeding!) stopped, the guy conducting the little experiment said, “Y’know, in giving out my instructions, there was one thing I never said. Anyone wanna guess what I didn’t say?”
No one could.
“I NEVER said that the nine in a circle were supposed to NOT let him in. I never said it was their job to keep him out! He could have just walked up to the circle and said, ‘Hey, guys! Mind if I come back in the circle?’ Or they could have said from the word ‘Go!’, ‘Hey, Frank! C’mon in here! We’ve missed you while you were gone to the other side of the platform! Get up in this circle where you belong!!' Then they could have opened up a space for him, and welcomed him in. That 'being so exclusive' just came out of nowhere!"
Well, it didn’t just come out of nowhere.
It’s just easier moving in the little circles of the people we know and are comfortable with. “With people who are like me”. But Paul said that churches are like a body where every part…even little toes…matter a lot! He said it’s where everyone is family and no one is a guest. Jesus said it’s like a flock where every sheep counts!
It’s why we have community groups on Sunday morning. It’s why we have potlucks, dinners, "Four Wednesdays", get-togethers, swimming pool cook-outs, and small groups.
It’s because we’re a community.
We’re a family.
We’re the Body of Christ!
Want to make others feel like they matter? Want to make them feel included? Include yourself! Come to stuff! Stay for stuff! Tell us we matter to you!
Oh yeah…And I almost forgot…
The second Sunday of the month is also Communion Sunday. This is when we remember how much Jesus hurt, suffered, and bled for us…to make us one…to make us a family…to make us into a flock… to bring us together!
It’s just a little cracker and half a sip of juice. Later in the day, at the pool, there will be a lot more! Burgers, chips, watermelon dripping off elbows…But in the morning, we'll just eat together a tiny taste and a little reminder of what it costs so that we could belong to Him…
And to each other!