Since moving home from Scotland I’ve really struggled to find a Church and a community and recently have realised it’s not good to just keep going from Church to Church, so a few weeks ago I decided to start going with my parents on Sunday mornings to get some sort of regular fellowship and teaching. This morning, after a week or so of feeling really good and positive about life for the first time in a while, I woke up and wasn’t feeling just as peachy. I was going to sleep in but something managed to drag me out of bed at 9:00 am and made me get ready in perfect time.
This wasn’t the first time that God has had to drag me out of bed but He is always faithful.
This morning I took communion for what must be the first time in months and afterwards I just felt like the load was so much lighter. The denomination of the Church itself is Church of Ireland which means that for communion everyone goes up to the front and takes a piece of bread, then we all drink from the same cup (they clean it between each person, don’t worry) and then you return to your seat. Since we were in the first row after I had sat down I got to watch everyone else go up and it blew my mind.
I was sitting there, watching this whole community take part, together, in communion. In thanking God for dying for them, in being one body together. I saw 20-somethings and parents and children and babies and grandparents walk past me and eat the bread that represented Jesus’ body and drink the wine that represented His blood. We all took part in this wonderful sacrament and not at one point did I think, “This is so ‘religious’, this isn’t real.” Because these people were real, they were this beautiful hodgepodge of individuals who all took part in making up the Body of Christ, with their quirks and differences, they are all important in bringing His Kingdom to earth. It was such a happy event, with a group of people who truly felt like family, walking to the front with all their joys and pains, all their mess and all their baggage, and thanking God for being good regardless of their situation. The band played a song and there was so much chatter in the background until everyone had made their way back to their seats, while the band finished up their song and we were all quiet again.
The sermon beforehand had been about how we can’t reach what Jesus has for us, how we can’t walk on water with Him, if we don’t get out of the boat. The Minister asked, “What’s keeping you in the boat?” I knew my answer was the fear of getting to know people, of having to put in the effort of getting involved in a community. Fellowship is so important, if we don’t have it our faith weakens but if we can hold each other up in our communities then we can truly know what the love of Christ looks like and see it in action, and that is when we learn how to take it outside of our communities.
I’m scared to make a commitment to a Church because it means I really have to put effort in, but God will be with me the whole way. As it was said in this morning’s sermon, God will never ask you to do something that makes you think, “Yeah, I’m capable of that,” but He won’t leave you, and through that situation you’ll see His glory and He will bless you greatly.