My friend Ang and I are planning the first monthly community-wide worship service this Friday. We are also involved in a small church but many people who are our neighbors on the property don't attend church with us. This has been heartbreaking for many reasons.
But as we ask God to help us reconcile with him, with one another and with creation, we are moved to see that our community is growing in unexpected ways. The church itself is not growing. But our community meal-times are nearly bursting with life.
I don't presume to know what God is doing in our church or in this community or beyond us because I believe his glory isn't often visible by our narrow sight. But we must try to follow where He leads. So we hope that all of our neighbors will join us in worship this Friday in a time of reflection and longing for the light of Christ, the light that is coming.
In preparation, I've been moved by the hymn Christ be our Light, one that I've sung before but hadn't listened to in the time of Advent. It is a song of hope and lament, that the world is not yet new, that people still suffer and despair, that the kingdom has not yet come. In my best days, I believe the church is a mystical place where God is glorified in ways we don't understand and often don't see. There is God's power and love in our gathering, and I pray that he shines in our hearts and that he moves among us with his light.
Refrain Christ, be our light! Shine in our hearts. Shine through the darkness. Christ, be our light! Shine in your church gathered today.
2. Longing for peace, our world is troubled. Longing for hope, many despair. Your word alone has pow’r to save us. Make us your living voice.
3. Longing for food, many are hungry. Longing for water, many still thirst. Make us your bread, broken for others, shared until all are fed.
4. Longing for shelter, many are homeless. Longing for warmth, many are cold. Make us your building, sheltering others, walls made of living stone.
5. Many the gifts, many the people, many the hearts that yearn to belong. Let us be servants to one another, making your kingdom come.