Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Breaking Bread Together
As I mentioned before, Billy is starting a young adult Bible study. Sunday night we had our group leadership team over for dessert and planning. I have to admit, I was very tired, the house was not getting clean as fast as it needed to, the dessert would not get done, and for a moment I thought, Why in the world did we try to do this here?!!! But just for a moment. I realized that this is what I've been praying for. Let's face it, I spend most of my time at home with my three little ones, and my opportunities to get to know others for the purpose of sharing Christ's love is very limited. This can be frustrating at times. I've been greatly encouraged by Nancy Campbell's testimony of how she, too, was a mother of many children, but that hundreds of people have heard the gospel in their home because she and her husband continuously extend hospitality. She painted a wonderful picture of the power of the home in reaching the world for Christ. I've asked God to give me the same opportunity. And this meeting was just a very tiny part of that.
It was such a joy to gather around our big table to brainstorm, share our hearts, learn each others' stories, and pray together for the largely unchurched young people who are our target group. I think each of us caught a glimpse of the potential of people willing to reach out to those others are not reaching, to befriend them and love them with the love of Christ. Billy's life is the fruit of just such a couple who opened their hearts and home to a rowdy bunch of twenty-somethings and more or less loved and prayed them into the Kingdom. Some of the people who have been most influential in my spiritual healing and growth are those who invited me into their homes when I was hurting and lonely. And Sunday night as we gathered, I realized afresh that the seeds we plant through Bible study, relationships, and hospitality, can literally change the course of generations.
In the end, it really wasn't that hard. The main areas of the house were presentable (with my family's help!), we had enough dessert, and the most important thing is that we actually met. A welcoming heart is the most important ingredient in hospitality, not perfection. And there is something about a home that is unlike anywhere else. In a home, people open up faster, get to know each other better, and often feel more comfortable than in any other setting. It didn't take me long to feel great joy that we had opened our home. And somehow by the end of the evening, I wasn't so tired any more.