We like to sit in the back at church because we used to be Baptist. No, seriously, it's because there's free coffee back there. No, actually, it's because we like to have some room to move around when we worship (no one should be staring at the back of my head while I'm jumping up and down like a crazy person). We also get a great view of all the other people in the room. On this particular day I kept seeing people I recognize.
I'm about to tell you how big our church is, but first I have to explain that living in a small city like Bend, 3 hours from another Costco, it's rare to find a large group of people congregating, anywhere. One example of a crowd you see often is at the base of the Pine Marten chair lift at 8:59 am on December 26th. But that's mostly tourists.
Needless to say, Westside Church is fairly large and you can certainly feel lost in the crowd, but now that we've been attending there for over five years, I feel like an established part of this community. So here I was, sitting in the back. I began to recognize people: a woman from a Bible Study I participated in a few years ago, a man in my husband's men's group, a family whose kids are friends with our kid, a single mom from our MOPS group, a woman who works at the local grocery store, my insurance guy, a customer of mine... the list goes on. It hits me all of a sudden: I belong here. I love these people. They help me walk through life, transformed rather than conformed to the world. Not a superficial thing, at all. And impossible to do, alone.
I usually try not to wax too spiritual in my blog, but I can't help myself. I'm a deeply spiritual person barely contained by some very thin layers of superficiality and vague appropriateness. What I want to know is, what do you value about your spiritual community? Or what do you wish for in a spiritual community? Answer the question as a response to this posting by November 30th (Facebookers, you have to actually go to the blog) and you could win a copy of The Jesus Storybook Bible, deluxe edition. This children's Bible is unique in that it relates every story in the Bible back to Jesus, from Genesis to Revelation. I love it and I hope you will too. I'll draw a name from the comments at the end of the month.
This blog is quickly becoming about community, and I'm excited to see your comments, about yours! Oh yeah, and I picked that photo 'cuz the happy crowd-surfing girl kind of looks like me. But she's not. She's from Lollapalooza.com.