Sunday, June 30, 2013

From 21,000 to 6

And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone... (Matthew 14:23 ESV)

Last week at this time my family and I were gathered with some 21,000 other members of the Church of the Nazarene for the Sunday morning worship service of Holy Communion. Today we are alone as a family of six on Lake Champlain about as far north as you can get in Vermont without being in Canada and about a mile from the 45' latitude line - exactly halfway between the equator and the North Pole. 

There are some benefits of worshiping with twenty thousand people. While there are some large Nazarene churches of 200+, the vast majority of members of the Church of the Nazarene worship in congregations of 30-100 people. Like me. So to be able to be together on a Sunday for Holy Communion is a powerful reminder that we are not alone. This opportunity was a highlight for me last week.

(*A pleasant surprise during communion was when the orchestra played one of my favorite songs: Ennio Morricone's Theme from the movie, The Mission. It's been a favorite for a few years. I cried when they started playing it while we all received the Body & Blood of Christ. If you've seen the movie, you might understand. Communion "should" be narrated by such music.)

But today we are far, far away from the din of 20,000 people in downtown Indianapolis. Coming out of the excitement of being with so many Nazarenes, last night I excitedly looked for a Church of the Nazarene to worship with in Montreal. But the English-speaking ones are all almost two hours away. While there is a Nazarene church about 20 minutes from where we are on our own district, we decided to honor our original plan for today: to worship as a family of six. (I hesitate sharing this on the blog because I don't want North Street peeps to get any ideas! Gathering for corporate worship on Sundays is very important, even while away. But once every seven years might be okay. :-)

We miss our church family at North Street already. It's hard to believe it was only two weeks ago that we were together.

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