Today I want to begin a smattering of ponderings on assembling together to do a couple of things. The exploration is partly selfish in that it will help me flesh out for myself what often, but not always, subconsciously overrides my desires to forsake the assembly. I know for some this may sound like strong or antiquated language. Maybe it is but I may eventually explore why it seems an adequate and realistic notion to discuss when I desire to "forsake the assembly."
I also want to explore the topic because there are people with whom I miss being in spiritual community--who have opted out of assembling with saintly sinners for a variety of reasons. Some are likely valid reasons. However, I want to explore the genius of community for myself and for those whom may find it useful in order to reaffirm it for myself and to perhaps welcome others into that experience through one sojourner's eyes. I do NOT, however, desire it to be a guilt trip for myself or others. This doesn't seem helpful in my experience of pastoral and evangelistic ministry. But I also want to explore the possible deficiencies of living a solo life away from some form of assembly Please don't assume I have a specific communal form I'm discussing at this point. I have certain forms of assembly which have resonated more or less with me but that's not yet something I'm exploring.
Finally, I suspect there are some at weekly assemblies who may need an occasional breather from assembling as well as those who've checked out far too long who miss the blessing of showing up in all the potential messiness of the endeavor. Maybe this will give some word to where you are along those lines and what you, and I, can do to have a time of refreshing to that end.
For today, though, the only thing I'll say is that the church is the bride of Christ. You can't love me without loving my wife Rachel. It would be difficult to love Jesus without loving his bride as well. Of course many of us have bride-baggage with the church. An unfair judgment uttered toward us. A confrontation given in a poor spirit. Being taken advantage of by people in powerful positions in church offices. Its clear how that love of his bride plays out isn't always clear because his bride has some ugly moments. And yet it seems no one is more personally aware of or affected by them than her husband Jesus.
This won't likely be a consistently rhythmed series that comes in once a day or week. It will likely come when it can as time or thoughts allow or step forth in my brain. However, I wanted to get the ball rolling today.