Moved Mountains

Banner - Mt Trio, Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia - (c) 2007

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Filling everything with His presence

Last night our "Sunday arvo thing" (aka Alternate-Or) moved to Monday afternoon. Things are still very much in a state of flux which is both a little frustrating but also exciting.

We met for a couple of weeks at the community centre but ended up giving this idea away, at least for the time being, as not enough of our original core group were turning up meaning we were having a hard time scraping together the dollars to pay for the room rental. I suggested we meet in a cafe and someone else suggested we try a pub. The end result was our first meeting in the beer garden at Trafalgars hotel in the pub/cafe precinct of the Bunbury CBD.

It was kinda weird, particularly at first. Sitting down, opening Bibles, talking openly about Jesus. I think most of us felt a little uncomfortable - I kept thinking about Jesus' words to the Pharisees about their acts of public prayer and wondered if we came across the same way - but in the end I felt it went well. A couple of drinkers, obviously listening into our discussion, chipped in with comments from time to time, which was pretty cool and added to the feel of the exercise.

I decided that we would read through that great epistle to the Church - Ephesians, and so tackled chapter 1. Without planning for it in my preparation, the last couple of sentences of the chapter really jumped out at us as being so incredibly appropriate to what we were trying to achieve.

The Message renders Paul's words like this:

The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is Christ's body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence. (1:23)
Yesterday, sitting in the pub, purposefully gathered to worship and learn about the Master, I got a very real sense of Christ's presence in a place in our city that perhaps, he hasn't been for a very long time.

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