Since I received some great feedback the last time I posted a summary of a meeting I thought I would blog about a few things that happened at a meeting we held just before Christmas.
I don’t know why blogs about what happens in church are so popular. I suspect people really want to know this is possible – and they love hearing about God moving in ordinary lives, and they need to know it’s ok if not everything goes smoothly. Here’s the story of a special Christmas meeting of the church.
We decided to stage a white elephant gift exchange. In this traditional game, people bring inexpensive (sometimes ridiculously useless) gifts and swap them via a process that involves taking turns selecting a random gift or “stealing” one that someone else had already selected and unwrapped.
Friday, one of the moms wisely suggested that the stealing aspect might not be appreciated by the younger children. So, after our meal the moms organized a no-steal version for those younger than teenagers, with parents having the final say as to which game their children would play. The adults then played the full-on stealing version, in the process entertaining the children. Everyone had a blast and we successfully avoided any potential melt downs.
That’s not all that happened, by the way. Someone brought along a friend who needed prayer, and discretely led a group of people aside to a separate room where a conversation could occur in private. I do not know what was discussed or what was the issue – but I know that people loved and encouraged one another.
One of the adult brothers swapped the gift he “won” so that one of our teens could end up with something the adult noticed the teen really wanted, modelling manhood Jesus-style.
Then I spoke with Tina, who it turns out is a friend of a woman I had spoken with several months ago. I had told this woman that I would call and visit her son, but I never did. I did end up meeting her son and his family recently, but not because I had done anything. As Tina relayed what was happening in the life of this family the Holy Spirit reminded me that I needed to follow up on an encounter He had set up for me. Tina told me she has been praying for this woman and realized that God has arranged for them to be friends. We are going to continue to pray for her and her family. Follow up: I have since called Tina’s friend’s son. I don’t know how our involvement in this family’s life is going to turn out, but I know God is calling us to be involved.
Jennifer and I talked about another woman who had been divinely connected with our group. Since an outreach event our group had done back in November, Jennifer and her kids have been visiting her, helping her with a few things, and becoming friends with her. Jennifer even brought her a decorated tree and some Christmas presents, after she learned that the woman hadn’t celebrated Christmas since a family tragedy years ago. The woman has limited mobility and few other friends or family. We spoke about ways we could continue to comfort and be friends with the woman.
Other conversations in which I was not a part took place. Maybe they had something to do with ministry, or maybe not.
Did we miss anything?
For another true Christmas church meeting story – one that I think follows the same “God is with us” theme of the very first Christmas – head over to Crossroad Junction and slay some giants.