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Jesus, Love Songs and Antipasti

Over the weekend, Steve and I went to hear Corey and Whitney play at Makahna’s and something remakable happened. Truth be told, we were just going to do what good parents do: support our kids at their gig. But when we got there we found the restaurant was filled with friends from Whit’s work, people from our church and from the young adults group that Corey leads. Throughout the evening, everyone moved from table to table, hugging and talking and trying each other’s food. I caught little audio scraps of conversations going on all around me…people talking about life and work and friends and the God that holds all of it together. I shared an incredible antipasti plate with the person I love the most in the whole world while we listened to music about love and loss, sung by people we adore.

And then this moment happened. This miraculous moment. I sat there in the swirling goodness of it all, fighting tears, as I realized: “This is God. I can feel His heart beat, His love of relationship, His longing to be with us as we are with each other.” I kept hearing the beautiful words “where two or three are gathered in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Why is He there? Not out of obligation to the verse, but because – just like me at that moment – He wouldn’t want to miss it for the world. I’m discovering that Jesus really loves to have dinner with friends.

For too long, I have kept God framed inside the halls and walls of a building and haven’t accurately recognized His presence moving through the moments outside of the meeting we traditionally call “church”. Church absolutely is gathering to worship at a specified location…because there we find Him and love Him and grow in Him. But church is more. More real and more simple and more messy than that.

And it’s also less.

Less defined, less intimidating, less linear than that.

I don’t think we should worship or fear the dichotomy in it all, I think we should just go ahead and let God leak out of our meetings and into our restaurants and houses and streets. I suspect that it’s exactly this kind of pervasive and powerful force that will overrun the gates of hell.

Believing for more and less,