There are times when I go to some established churches, or when I try and explain what we do as Mosaic Edinburgh that I end up feeling that as a church community we are frankly, a bit odd. There have been times when dreaming and working towards being part of a missional community has left me feeling alone and full of doubt. I don’t know if you have ever felt that way?
I had a very different and affirming experince from that today as I was reading Mike Frost’s book, “The Road To Missional.” I came across his descriiption of their community in Sydney Australia. Here it is
“Every Sunday night the community to which I belong meets for a big meal together. We gather round low feasting tables and enjoy great food and conversations. We accept all comers, offering them a meal and wine and a seat at our table. We share our joys, our doubts and our fears. We celebrate our freedom and and speak openly of our alliegance to the Lordship of Jesus in the breaking of bread and the drinking of wine, symbolizing his supreme sacrifice and his death and resurrection as the ultimate shaper of our lives, both indvidual and together. Children run amok. Music is played. Laughter comes in bursts. The Bible is read and explained. We gather together in a spirit of celebration because we believe we have been rescued from one world which is fading into a new world that is unfurling, a world of laughter and bread and music and fellowship and inculsion and freedom.” p 144
Does that sound a lot like any community you know? Despite the thousands of miles that separate us, I couldn’t help but see the similarities between that description of what happens there in Sydney and what I experience Sunday by Sunday here in Edinburgh. The food, the laughter, the differences and yet feeling of inclusion, the commitment to living under Christ’s Lordship all of the time not just some of the time.
Mike’s words and his community reminded me that though I may some times feel it, we are not oddities, ploughing a lonely furrow all by ourselves, no we are part of movement. In fact I even dare to say a move of the Spirit. We are part of something that the Spirit is birthing which is new and yet old at the same time, an authentic missional expression of the People of God. All over the world groups just like us are trying to figure out what it means for church to be the People of God incarnating and serving the Kingdom of God in their culture rather than church being content with being about attendance at an event in a particular place.
Although we are small group, meeting in a smallish city in world terms, in a small country on the edge of Europe today I am encouraged by the thought that we are part of something bigger, much bigger,something significant that the Spirit is doing all over the world. All over the world groups of spiritual subversives are learning to live by the same missional beat we are trying to get in step with, that of gathering and going. I hope you feel inspired and affirmed by that too.