Friday, May 16, 2014

baptized in community

It's Friday morning I am clearing the kitchen counters, filling the sink with clean, soapy water, and scrubbing every surface.

I am smiling while I work.

Because, if you can imagine it, while a few dozen people gathered at our house to discuss real gospel life on Thursday night, a Pepsi sprinkler of sorts baptized the cabinets and counters, vases ad canisters with its sticky sweet liquid.

A two liter bottle can cover some serious square footage when it violently explodes.

Our poor friend who was unlucky enough to open the offending container was covered in soda, and it dripped from the ceiling, splattered the light fixture, and left its mark on every. little. thing.

If the purpose of our home was to be clean and perfect, I suppose I would have been angry or frustrated by this unusual event. But that's not the reason we live here.

We live here for Him. These walls exist to be hammered with grace and to hold up an endless ceiling of His sheltering mercy. The floors that pooled with fizzy brown liquid have but one purpose: to lead beautiful feet to His will.

How could we consider the gospel to truly be good news here if a messy accident ended the joy of community?

No, this gathering of Jesus people is a true baptism. This is where we choose to love one another more than our free time, our precious possessions, and our right ignore God's voice ringing out in the lives of our friends.

"L'importnant c'est d'aimer." The most important thing is to live love. Lest we forget that, it's still written right there above the kitchen table, all strewn with appliances and odds and ends. When we live those words, they become a banner over our home, and the song over our lives.

The cabinets are open, freshly scrubbed, and drying in the new morning air. Our mismatched plates and cups, chipped casserole dishes, and old family heirlooms are visible for all to see. There are treasures and useless lids alike housed behind these doors. Some bright new morning, when this world passes into memory and a new world beckons with full and vibrant communion with God, all these trifles of our old life will vaporize into ancient history. 

We will stand before God and He will show us the truth about how well we loved Him here. It would be a shame to let our love of things come before our love of Him, and we would surely regret it in His glorious presence.

So we let people in, we open our arms to the mess and the accidents, and we swing wide the doors of our lives and expose both the beautiful treasures and the broken bits of ourselves. This is the baptism we need, the one that rids us of our selfishness and frees us from the smallness of living here for all the wrong reasons.

It's Friday morning and I am grateful for Pepsi and for people and for the love that brings new color into our hazy world. I've been baptized afresh, and I am a new woman today.

To our Thursday night friends, I just want to say three things: I love you guys. Thank you for loving us so very, very well. See you next time.

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