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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Jackson

Come as you are

Gathering in today’s world means something completely different than it did prior to March 2020. Gathering also means something completely different in the south.

In the south when you gather it means an invite is sent, placards are created, tables are set, centerpieces are thought out and a menu is crafted. In many ways I want to shed some of the preparations of southern gathering in lieu of… come as you are, come those who are weary, come without expectation – just come.

Maybe instead of having a focus on the external part of gathering we can remember the purpose of gathering in the first place.

Maybe we exchange flowers on the table for humility laid bare.

Maybe we exchange a formal invitation for a desperate cry in need of acceptance.

Maybe we exchange a menu full of delicacies for nourishment the fuels our soul.

Maybe we exchange the façade of ambiance for the truth of both sinner and saint.

Maybe we exchange hand written thank you’s for looking someone in the eye and saying you are not alone.

Maybe instead of the host doing all the preparing, we can all do our part in preparing our heart before we enter in.

Maybe if we can learn the art of gathering as Christ intended we would crave gathering more often. Maybe we could stop worrying about our house not being in the right condition and worry more about our hearts that need a little tending to.

The gathering that takes place in the Bible in Matthew when Jesus talks about “two or more gathering in my name” is holy ground. It isn’t because of the venue, the menu or the people in attendance. It is only holy ground because they showed up and invited Jesus in.

We have opportunity for holy ground experience. It takes place when we decide to enter in with humility, grace, assurance of who we are, and a confidence that God will be honored in that space. When Jesus talks about His burden being light it means not only in relationship between man and God, but also between His creation. We don’t have to make it harder than it is. We don’t have to create an Insta-worthy environment or create the perfect ambiance. Jesus just wants to be where His children gather, when they gather with humility, truly desiring to see someone else as God sees them.

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