Monday, November 4, 2013

Let's Go to My Place!

When I moved into the apartment where I currently live I was warned not to have raucous gatherings with ten or more people. It was all a figure of speech but all the same I give myself credit for staying below the 'ten' mark. I can't make any promises about the raucous part. I mean, I've made quite a bit of friends here and if they're anything like me quiet isn't exactly their forte.

Anyway, I've been here more or less since the beginning of October and I've had people over a few times now. The point behind this huge two bedroom apartment is to be hospitable and encourage others in their walks with God. So, being the type of person that I am, I've taken to feeding anyone who will let me, and holding various worship/prayer gatherings. We've had two such gatherings, complete with homemade pasta dishes, wine, and lots of enthusiastic singing.

You see, since this apartment is paid for all right and proper I've got the same rights as anyone. As long as I don't make too much noise past about 10PM, no one can say diddly squat. Well, no one should, at least. I sing during the day sometimes but it's not as if I'm belting all the time. On the whole I'm a quiet neighbor-especially since I run around so much that I'm hardly ever home for any real length of time anyway.

Now, this second prayer and worship meeting was incredible. I mean, incredible. I think in some deeply human way this is what we were all looking for. Every single person present was an immigrant to some degree, whether they were from southern Italy, Brazil, Albania, Columbia, or the U.S., and each one of us wanted a deeper connection with these new people we found ourselves surrounded with. A text that for some reason never made it to its recipients meant that our group this evening was intimate, and we took full advantage of that with the sharing of our testimonies. We worked around language barriers, translating where it was needed and singing songs in the languages we knew best, or felt led to sing in.
There's something special about hearing "You Won't Relent" sung in English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian all at the same time. This is what happens when the Spirit flows in us: the divisions between us are overcome, and in our reliance on God our unity is Christ-centered and thus pleasing to God. Nothing stands against a people united, which is why I think division is such a big problem in the church. But greater is He who is in us than he is of the world! To me our differences are a cause to join together in celebration of our diversity and the things we can learn from each other.

I can certainly celebrate having a chef for a friend, and this guy's carbonara pasta was soooo much better than what me and another friend had concocted two weeks earlier. I am so full of joy! Everyone who comes into the house loves the energy there and it has been dubbed a house of restoration. Hearing this is one of my greatest joys. Already people are planning prayer nights and we are all eager to meet and worship together again.

I am looking forward to continuing to serve God wherever He calls me to, and in whatever capacity He calls me to serve in. God is good and faithful to provide!

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