Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Really Good Meeting

Do you know what it looks like when the body of Christ builds itself up in love? Have you ever seen the church grow (in quality, not necessarily in quantity) by what each joint and ligament supplies? Well I saw it happen this past weekend and I wanna tell you about it.

The brothers in our church recently received invitations to attend a get-together done by the sisters in our fellowship. The invitations themselves were fantastic, with little burnt-looking edges and nice lettering. They gave us our invitations after treating us to an amusing skit, featuring camouflaged scouts surveying the promised land in the days of Joshua and Caleb. They gushed as they reported the size of the grapes in the new land and encouraged us to see for ourselves what the Lord has given us in that land. Because we're not new at this, each of us in the room understood that the land was always a picture of Christ. It was an object lesson in finding our every need fulfilled in Christ. They were speaking of land, milk, and honey, but we knew they were really talking about the Lord.

Then Saturday night we showed up at the appointed time to a home that was partially hidden behind a veil. Our beautiful greeters made sure we noticed that the veil had been ripped open, so that we could go in and see what awaited us inside. We were hungry and ready to see what was in store for us.

Before we went in, each of us was given a new name which would be ours for the remainder of the night. Those who greeted us inside knew our new names and seated us in front of well-made placecards with our new names on them. One of us became Righteousness, another Sanctification. One of us was Truth, and another Glory. Each name sounded far better than we deserved but they persisted in calling us those names for the duration of the evening.

We sat under a beautifully-lit canopy (inside the house!) , eating a deliciously grilled meal on fine china. We were served wine (optional) and cheese and bread and steak and fish and rice and vegetables. Each of us had on his plate exactly what he would have ordered if he had been asked, only none of us had to ask. The brother across the table from me, himself a vegan, had tofu instead of meat along with his veggies. The meal itself was exquisite and it just kept coming until we were FULL.

All throughout the meal, we were serenaded by the lovely women of our fellowship. They sang a selection of our songs which speak of Christ as our food, and of Him as our fertile land. They even rewrote a song that had needed a good rewrite for some time, and it was beautiful! A blog just won't do it justice, so you'll have to just imagine why we were moved to tears as we ate. We had several choices for dessert (mine was very chocolatey) and they were delicious.

They served us like we were royalty and spoke such encouraging words of how they see us in the Lord. Now let me assure you, each of us has had one reason or another to think poorly of himself over the last year or so. Our intentions have always been good, but we would not have to work hard to catalogue the ways in which each of us feels that we have failed as brothers in the church. There are so many things that we wish we did, but never seem to pull off.

But this night, we were spoken to as men who had fulfilled every expectation. They reminded us that we no longer judge one another according to the flesh, and they set about demonstrating for us what that looks and sounds like. They read out what they had written about each of us, calling us by name, and we sat and (a few of us) cried as we heard such high things said of us by our precious sisters. They ministered to us. I don't know any other way to put it. We feasted on their words and their love. We basked in their music and their warmth.

I think it was a healing time for some of us, if not all of us. Thank you, sisters, for your example of how to love the Lord and His church. You are a precious gift.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. Sounds wonderful.

It's a beautiful thing to find out that not only are we not judged by our Lord, but that He sees us as He sees His Son.

How beautiful it is when we see one another in that same light.

Amen, brother.

8:03 AM  
Blogger Jasmin said...

Wish we were there.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing that meeting Niel.It's great to see the Body functioning the way her Lord (The Head)means her to. A beautiful expression of the Bride of Christ in Atlanta.
Your friends in Philadelphia
Jerry M.

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Eric said...


thanks for sharing that beautiful event with us. Impressive, we have a wonderful Christ, expressed through a wonderful and divine portion.
The Saints in Almere, Netherlands.

2:55 AM  

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