Michael's been coming to our group for 8 months or so. Someone invited him after meeting him during an outreach ministry. Michael's from Miami, and moved to NC looking for a job. He's homeless, but he's aspiring. And he loves to write poetry.
Last Monday he invited our homegroup to an open mic night at Cameron Village library. Around seven I made my way over to the poetry night, and as I walked in the reading room I was overwhelmed. Almost all of our homegroup was there, as well as 10-15 other people from Vintage21. That's over 20 people. It may seem insignificant, but for me it was quite defining. Tyler (pastor V21) always talks about "living life together," and "laughing over good food until you cry," stuff like that. You know, the beauty of Christian fellowship and community. And I've known that. College, Camp Willow Run, my time in El Salvador - all taught me the importance of community and accountability. But here in my mid-twenties, while working and pursuing a master's, this kind of community demands a more persistent pursuit - for me at least. One of the brightest days in my week is Thursday, when our homegroup meets. Here is something I jotted after last Thursday's meeting:
Something hit me tonight. It was not like a punch, but like a burst of cool sultry air. I sat on a thick couch, just listening to my friends around me. Here we are, twenty somethings, filled with food and laughter, reveling in the wisdom of the Scriptures. I think I was just happy to be out of routine, ignoring the day. I honestly misplaced my thoughts of work and school and deadlines and of commitments. I just sat there. It seems appropriate that we take our time. In an age of immediate knowledge and gratification, there is no way to speed up getting to know someone. Fine wine is only opened after years of settling. So as I gazed around the room, I realized this is a beautiful time in my life. I live downtown. I see skyscrapers in my windowpanes. I meet and minister to the homeless. I sink into sheets knowing I have an exciting job. My family is near, my food is near, my Saturday night plans are endless and my church is within walking distance. And I reflect, to Whom do I owe this great pleasure?
Reading Religious Affections by Edwards, came across this &c like 100x. It means "et cetera." How do I know that? My friends at acronymfinder.com helped on this one and they can help you too! Settle the debate, use acronymfinder.com for all your acronym related arguments. Do you know what NASCAR stands for? ESPN? ABBA? Find out right away at acronymfinder.com.
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"No government official is inaugurated unless he or she promises, in the presence of the citizenry, to be faithful to the constitution. Why, then, should not the promise of lifelong faithfulness, which we as husband and wife should give each other, require public declaration in the presence of family, friends, acquaintances, and especially the church?(267)"
I knew a guy in college that felt he and his girlfriend were spiritually married, though they never had a public ceremony. You know, the "we took vows before God and don't need the state to tell us we're married." Maybe you don't. His situation was one of those nagging thoughts that came up when I would think about marriage. Nagging enough to get my attention, but not pertinent enough to require immediate research. After reading this chapter in Douma on the 7th commandment, I realize how ridiculous that idea is. We're not in a deserted island/end of the world scenario. Making a union public for the sake of accountability is a high calling - then to take vows before that audience and God Himself? Beautiful and obligatory.