“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:29-30 (MSG)
There are many times when we get it wrong as the church, but this Sunday was one of the (many) days where I witnessed the church being used by God in mysterious and beautiful ways. I had two experiences centered around communion tables which displayed such hope and beauty.
PCC Hudson Communion: This Sunday we launched our first community off of Farm Hill Blvd called “PCC Hudson.” The goal of our Vision 2025 is to influence the generations to passionately follow Christ, one home at a time. To do that, we are endeavoring to create micro-communities of no larger than 200 worshippers throughout our city.
The launch was wonderful, and one of my many highlights was seeing Bill (not his real name) show up. Bill and I met last month at a mutual friend’s house. During our time together, he explained that after 10 years of being involved in and burned by a church, he had walked away disillusioned and hurt. (Not by Jesus, but by the church). “I’ve given up on church,” he explained to me that night.
To my surprise, after receiving an invitation, he took a risk and showed up at PCC Hudson. We sat together and during the response time of communion, I asked Bill if he would join Paul Montoro and me for communion. He agreed, we partook of the elements, stepped outside, and in a raw, authentic way, Bill asked for prayer, for healing and for hope. Paul and I shared also and with the taste of juice-laced crackers in our mouths reminding us of Jesus’ body broken, His blood shed for us, we prayed, void of pretense and religious language, for each other.
PCC Farm Hill 11:00 Communion: I left Hudson and journeyed up to “PCC Farm Hill,” as we now call it, to join the 11am gathering in progress. As staff, we have a text chain for communication on Sundays so I knew that in the gathering were parents of a freshman girl from Sequoia High School who tragically died just days before. When it came time for communion, I saw them staggering towards the communion table, wracked in grief. Out of a conviction that no one should be alone at the communion table, I witnessed pastors and PCC’ers surround this dear couple, covering them with their arms and letting them commune and weep. They walked back to their pews and were met by Danny (our new Family Pastor) and others who prayed over them.
As Monday greeted us with jarring news of yet another senseless tragedy in Las Vegas, and for our own PCC community, the memorial of a man’s life ending much too soon, I came back in my mind to Sunday, to the table. To communion, with Jesus and others. To broken lives being made whole.
Therein lies our hope, friends, and therein lies the hope for all the brokenness that fills our headlines. New life and new hearts can be found in Jesus Christ. His sacrifice and resurrection changes everything for ANYONE who would come to Him in humility and dependence.
May we be as bold as ever with that Good News and may we be passionate in our pursuit of Jesus and of what breaks His heart. May communion tables be flooded all over Redwood City!
This Sunday we continue in our Questions Jesus Asked series looking at a relevant question from Matthew 6, “Why do you worry?”
I love being your pastor!