These days I am part of New Beginnings Church in a different way than ever before. No longer am I the lead pastor. No longer do I preach and lead Sunday services. No longer do I fulfill the office of pastor for these people. But I am still part of New Beginnings Church. Maybe, more than ever before, I am New Beginnings Church.
This past Sunday was “family worship.” A 5th-Sunday tradition at nbc. As we entered the worship area, the seating area was bare floor with a few scattered tables welcoming the youngest worshipers. The children knew they were included and many made their way to the play tables while others plopped down on the floor to play. As I sat with my own children, we danced together in worship, used crayons to color, conversed with others around, we listened to the Scriptures being read aloud and then, an Advent reflection.
Sitting on the floor, I was suddenly aware. I am the Church. I am a pastor. I am the pastor to my family. Our home is our church. Our neighborhood is our parish.
Last night we again gathered our family at our table and together read aloud an Advent word and lit our first Advent candle. I saw in that moment a bit of the future rushing into the present. As I listened to the prayers of our children, I heard their confidence that God will reveal our next steps, I heard their hope for a joyful future.
This Advent, I am experiencing the waiting like never before. What will be revealed? What will this new journey look like? What awaits at the end of the guiding light? Like a child, I wait in hope.