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Common Grace Diaspora
From 1998 to 2008, CGM

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A Day of Rest

"So on the seventh day, He rested from all His work. And God blessed the seventh day and made it Holy..." - Genesis 2:2-3

Since the summertime, my husband and I have taken a rest from formal church-going. Various factors in our lives led us to this point, and perhaps some would say we sin in doing so, although I sincerely hope not. However, we have not deserted the universal church--the fellowship of the brethren. And I find that in foregoing church proper--the sermons, the Sunday outfits, the obligatory over-the-church-pew handshakes, the little plastic communion cups, the bad music--I have found better rest on Sunday than I have in many years. Rest and healing, which we both needed.

Those of you who know Martin--which, now that I think of it, is all of you-- know that he is a rebel, but a rebel for Jesus. He seeks truth, not just to know it but to live by it. Since I am his daughter, and know him at his Sunday afternoon sleepiest and Monday morning grumpiest, you know I mean what I say. The point is: well, it is Sunday morning, and we are at my father's house, resting and worshiping. My mother and father, myself and my husband, my brother, and my daughter, and a few close friends. A handful of rebels for Jesus, seeking rest and fellowship.

I am as sensitive as any to the unbearably tacky and overly sentimental, so please forgive the pseudo-poetic format, but I feel moved to describe how I feel about this.

The pale winter sun filters through naked trees. Worship has finished. Voices lighten with conversation, laughter. My little brother jumps up, happy to be free. My daughter rests at peace in her grandmother's arms. Three men--father, husband, and friend--play jazz in the living room. Doorbell rings: friendly voices, greetings, hugs. Fellowship flows into lunch. Food passed around a table. Chicken, vegetables, hearty fare for hungry people. Chink of dishes in the sink. A Christmas toy brings smiles to adults gathered around the table. Feet on chairs. Whir of the microwave. Cups of coffee passed from hand to hand. Creamer? Sugar? Peaceful, interested conversation. Friends and family sit close, heads leaning in.

Church is worship.
Church is communion.
Church is laughter.
Church is food.
Church is conversation.
Church is family.
Rest, rest, and rest is church.

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