Hello readers! Are you still around? I hope so. If my friends' consensus is any indication, this semester is the hardest we've ever had, so that has a lot to do with my absence and perhaps yours.
Today, just some musings.
Recently, I've heard several people say that they don't need other people or a big building for a church. That they can have church, and be with God just as well on their own at home alone. While I don't see anything wrong with occasionally skipping out on church, lately I have come to realize the true and irreplaceable value of community.
I've experienced two specific instances of this lately.
Last weekend, some good friends of my were baptized at a local church. I've never been to a "baptismal service" before, like this one, where 6 people baptisms were interspersed with worship and prayer, but let me tell you, I'll never miss one again. Not only is it beautiful to see someone you care for show their obedience to God through baptism, but the community and sense of family experienced that night was magnificent. At one point, we were able to gather around and put our hands on the newly baptized people and just pray for them; that God would bless them in their obedience, praise God that he had led them into joy so far, and that their lives would be an example to others. It was electric. It was the first time in a long time that I have experienced real joy.
Last night I had another great community experience. After our InterVarsity large group, about 12 of us got together to watch a cheesy movie, had some delicious hot wings and once our movie was over, just talked and enjoyed each other's company. We spent probably an hour, which involved some great head and shoulder massages, just talking and laughing and being together. It was exactly what I needed.
So as far as I know, you can say that you are closest to God on your own, but I know that there is nothing quite like the love and joy you get from living your life with your brothers and sisters in Christ.