The sun set this past Friday night and my stomach was in knots. Nausea was setting in as a result of a long anticipated church opening. My parents and several others in the Austin area are part of a church plant sponsored by the Hill Country SDA Church. Only thing is, they are running the first 4 weeks worth of services here at my parent’s house. I woke up Sabbath morning, and for the first time debated whether or not to slip into some heels for church. I mean all I had to do was walk across the living room and into our makeshift sanctuary. It just didn’t feel right.
So Friday night after figuring out how best to squeeze every last chair we could find around the house, we decided to pray as a family before services would begin the next morning. We did a little popcorn prayer, and then after my sister said “Amen.” I asked, “Am I the only one who feels really nauseous about this whole thing?” Apparently, I was. My dad asked me if I was experiencing a fear of failure. I thought about it some and decided that was most likely part of it.
I guess it was just weird to bring the sanctuary home. My sister was fine until people started crowding in some time in the middle of sabbath school. She had to excuse herself from the room, because she felt faint. We aren’t even going to be involved with this church plant for long, considering we don’t live here at home with our parents anymore. Somehow we were feeling apprehensive on a day when an exciting movement was taking place.
Could it be that when God challenges us to move beyond the template for routine church worship, that the Devil steps in and makes us nervous maybe even sick about experiencing an encounter with God? Well, this wouldn’t be the first time. Jonah had to find himself in the belly of a fish before responding to God’s call.
Thankfully my mom and dad were excited and spiritually prepared to welcome our church guests into our “home church.” There were 20 people in attendance with 2 separate classes, one for children in the kitchen and one for adults. We had a elegant podium built from a recycled bedhead, and the message centered on what will set the Lightbearers SDA Church apart as a true light in the community. After the services, we had potluck and spent the afternoon in fellowship.
Sometimes God gets a little too close for comfort. There’s something wrong when we sing Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary and then take issue when the kitchen becomes the fellowship hall and the corner in the garage is converted to the pulpit. Home church just may have been the most real worship experience I’ve had with God in a while. My prayer is that I will learn to love God in such a way that His home is always in my heart.
To learn more about the Lightbearers group, visit: www.lightbearerssda.org.