This short article is from this week's bulletin. On Wednesday night, we had our monthly Uplift service where we try to mix things up to lift up each other. I had everyone fill out index cards answering the question why the love our congregation. We then went around and read out our cards in between an amazing song selection by our worship leader. This article sums up what I was trying to capture.
Jesus met two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13ff). They were sad because they expected Jesus to restore Israel, but after being in the grave for three days, it seemed as if all hope was lost. As they were traveling, Jesus began telling them all about His mission and purpose from the law and the prophets. All through His teaching, they failed to recognize Him. Teaching can only take someone so far. Christianity is more than just about believing certain doctrines; it is about fellowship and serving. It wasn't until Jesus broke bread with them that they recognized Him (Luke 24:30-31, 35). Christ can be found in teaching, but the power of breaking bread with our neighbor can open the eyes of the most discouraged disciple. When we take communion together, Jesus is in our midst.
On Wednesday night during our Uplift service, we saw this play out in real time. I asked everyone to fill out an index card answering a question about why they love North Broad. Every single card said something about the people, fellowship, and family. Nobody wrote anything down about doctrine, methods of worship, or any of the things we've been trained to talk about. It was all about family. Some on Wednesday have attended North Broad for over thirty and forty years, but their responses were all the same. One card said that the fellowship and worship at North Broad brings happiness to her soul. That will preach!
When we invite people to be part of our family here, that should be our emphasis because that's what wakes us up on Sundays, leads us to answer midnight phone calls, and inspires us to bend over backwards to be there for each other. There was something about the way Jesus broke bread that opened His disciples' eyes, and it is the way we fellowship each other that will help us reach out to those who have no place to call home.