My wife Katie and I really love to have people over to our home. We really love spending time with people in general, but there is nothing like being able to welcome someone in your home. There is nothing like the excitement and thrill of getting everything just right for a soon-to-arrive guest. This excited preparation is a tradition in my home. We run around dusting things that don’t really need dusting, straightening things that nobody will notice, running out to get a person’s favorite drink just in case they ask, and trying to think through every possible scenario in which we might have an opportunity to lavish our hospitality on our guests. We want people to feel at home in our home. Nothing gives us more joy than when a friend or neighbor tells us they are coming over for a spontaneous visit and they walk in without knocking or get a drink without asking. We know they are home. What’s great is that, even when Katie and I feel like we have bombed it, people seem to pick up on our energy and efforts and express how much it means that we had them over and made them feel at home.
As the Blackman Community Church Launch Team began to arrive at 7:00am on the 8th of January for our first regular preview service the joy and excitement I just described was palpable. Everything from setting out donuts and making coffee, to setting up the sound system and putting out chairs, was just dripping with the sweetness of people electrified by the opportunity to welcome people home. Several neighbors, friends, and co-workers had been invited and we could not wait to embrace each person with love and hospitality. We just couldn’t wait to share our life and our home with each guest. Once the coffee was ready, the chairs were all setup, the sound and stage was ready, the kid’s area was set, and all the possible avenues for showering guests with hospitality were satisfactorily explored, we gathered for prayer. Stephanie Miller led us in praying that every single person who walked in the door would know that no matter what walk of life they are from they have just come home.
At 10:30am on the nose people starting coming in greeted with smiles, warm handshakes, and even full on hugs! This is what it means to come home! People took their community from the door-side handshake, to the donut line, and then to a table. One interesting dynamic about planting a new church is that everyone has to get to know one another. Most of the people who had come to worship at BCC had never even met each other. How do you come home to people you have never met?! Well, just come on over to 315 John Rice Blvd. for our Sneak Peak service on February 12th to find out!
The service continued as we worshipped the God who has found each and every one of us. This God who loved us enough to know us and knowing us invites us home together into the life of God. We raised hands, we raised voices, we raised the cup and loaf, and we discovered that even strangers can come home together because we are all home in Jesus Christ! The service ended and the family dispersed, but even as I drove away from the Lane Agri-Park Center I began feeling another tinge of excitement fill my heart. We will all come home again to worship in just another month! What if this is what Sundays are all about? What if they are about coming home to Christ, to the church, to a place where we share life and get showered with love and hospitality? All I can say is, I can’t wait for the next one! See ya there!