At the FOCUS bonfire tonight; students everywhere, carving pumpkins, making s'mores, singing, wrapping themselves in toilet paper. Lots of energy. Lots of kids.
I was warming my hands at the fire when Brian walked up. We talked about this and that.
And then this happened.
ME: I wish we could tell people how cool it was to see SO MANY PEOPLE at church today.
BRIAN: Yeah, it was awesome.
ME: You should write a blog post or something.
BRIAN: You write a blog post.
ME: I can't. I mean, it's awkward. I'm a musician. It's like people will think I'm excited because there were more people in the audience to hear us play. I don't want people to get the wrong idea...
BRIAN: (with that dumbfounded, "you're too dumb to talk to" look he gets sometimes) And it's not awkward for me? You don't think they'll get the wrong idea if I write something about how great it was to see so many people there today? I'm the one standing up there talking. They might think, "Oh, he's just happy because there was a big crowd to hear him talk." It's risky for me, too. Maybe more.
ME: Well, yeah.
ME: But you should do it.
The point is this: when the room is full, there's a unique sort of energy. There is something powerful when we gather together - we see it and feel it every week. Jesus said, "When two or more are gathered in my name, I'm there with you." I really believe that something supernatural happens in our togetherness. That's not to say that amazing things don't happen in smaller groups, or even with a handful of people. But a full room has a different kind of energy.
And this morning, the room was full of familiar faces that I hadn't seen in a while. One of the greatest privileges of the platform is the ability to see people I love. That made today extraordinarily special.
We heard a powerful story, about how God transformed the life of a man who seemed hell-bent for destruction. We experienced that story together. There is a synergy and a power that comes from that "together" experience that can't be replicated.
I think it's part of the reason behind God's encouragement that we "do not give up meeting together" (Hebrews 10.25). Something happens when we are in the same place, experiencing the same thing.
Thanks to all of you who came to church today. Thanks to those who brought friends and family members.
Thanks for coming back. We've missed you. You're family. Home isn't the same without you.
And now I've written the blog post. If you got the wrong idea, sorry. I just liked having all of us together.