A couple from our church, who are beautiful examples of God’s grace and love, approached me with an idea. They wanted to host a cookout at their home for all of the new guests at our church, and invited us to join them in hosting the event.
God blessed the idea, and we were given a sunny 70 degree day in October! Although invites were given and thought of for a variety of individuals, a common thread was weaved between the one’s able to attend. Those who responded, were all young families with children. It seemed to be more than a coincidence, so we let the invitations stand as they were with a hope to create another cookout for the other pool of guests.
When the day came several children, fairly close in age, were able to run around and play together as their parents met, roasted hotdogs, and ate.
I couldn’t help but think, “This is the real Church.” People coming together to laugh, share, and eat. Sounds of joy from children chasing one another outside among God’s beautiful creation. Shadows cast on the grass, a roaring fire to warm our food & hearts, and the freedom to be completely yourself. It is refreshing to see everyone dropping their inhibitions, leaving their crisp white Sunday morning dress to the wayside, coming in jeans and boots and muddy hands on children.
We aren’t singing in perfect unison, eating perfectly round wafers, with pristinely pressed pants. We are not sitting up straight, avoiding the people at the end of our pew-looking forward as if they are not there. We were coming together to love one another, talk, and reach out our hands to the other. We experienced another side of church, in the backyard, having a cookout.