Acts 2:42 - And they were devoted to the apostles’ teaching, the life together, the common meal, and the prayers.
Instead of a worship service I spent the evening playing cards with a Las Vegas bank robber and a little girl who beat us both.
You see, last week we were going to have a worship service that was going to be led by the Guests at the mission. We were going to head down to Cornwall Park, which is a place that is special to a few of these guys, and they were going to explore the story of the reckless, runaway son (if you’ve spent any time in church you might know this story as the prodigal son) and teach us about forgiveness. But most of these guys were sick, and they weren’t up for leading a service. We decided to postpone their service until October. Life happens.
We still wanted to get together in September, so we hosted a game night. Look, it’s going to take a long time for the youth, the poor and the disabled to cohere into some sort of group, because so many of our cultural influences push us apart rather than together. This was a fun way for us to get to know each other and get comfortable being around each other. And as we’ve been reading through the book of Acts, we’ve been noticing how often the early church ate together. Back then, ink and parchment were incredibly expensive materials, so people didn’t write frivolously. Details are important. As we see how often the story talks about unusual groups of people eating together, we’ve wondered what it would be like for us to eat together when we get together.
Last Wednesday, 26 September, was the day we got together. I don’t enjoy being in a rush, so I left early the Mission to pick up the Guests and bring the back to my house so I could finish getting set up. What happened next was one of the highlights of the evening for me: The Guests sat down in my living room with my son Jackson, and they started reading his joke books and his “Worst Case Scenario Handbook”. Listening to people who have survived some very terrible worst case scenarios was disruptive, and watching them hang out and have fun together for half an hour was beautiful.
At the end of the evening we sang “happy birthday” to one of the Guests, and then we called it a night:
At the end of the evening, as we were cleaning up, Emma says to me, “Dad, this was great. I love how you read the Bible and then say, ‘hey, let’s try this and see what happens’ and we got to do this with eating together and playing together tonight. Way cool.”
Way cool indeed. Can’t hardly wait for October’s service.