Over the weekend, a few people met to discuss the direction of the All Nations Church life group that meets in our home. Ben was representing both of us (I was exchanging Christmas cookies during that time), and so before the get-together we chatted about our life group together; Ben wanted to contribute meaningfully and to represent my thoughts as well. We spoke about the life cycle of a life group, its purpose, group dynamics, facilitation, worship, discipleship, growth… Then after the meeting, as Ben filled me in on the conversation, we continued to chat about the same topics. And I'm sure we will continue as the years go by to re-visit these discussions, as we grow, as our experiences change, as we receive further revelation on the Church and the Body of Christ.
Yesterday was life group night. A pot luck night. Rose came by early to make guacamole, and Raphael soon rode up on his bike with fruits. Isaac sat in his high chair in the middle of the kitchen, eating his dinner and welcoming everyone as they walked in. Sylvie and Gualberto came for the first time since having Levi and we all cooed and loved on him. We ate together, loudly and laughingly. We sang, shared and prayed for each other.
It was the last time we would see Vera, Stephen and Malaika before the new year - they were travelling to the States to visit family - so we prayed for safe travels and a refreshing time. When Vera and Stephen sat back down in their seats after being prayed for, we were about to move on to something else; a couple people were chatting quietly, Peter was about to steer us … but Stephen had a contribution to make. He elbowed Vera and started singing quietly, "This is the family…" he elbowed Vera again and her smile grew as she joined in, "This is the family." It was to the tune of the song, This is the day, this is the day… They continued and we all began to sing,
"This is the family, this is the family,
That the Lord has made, that the Lord has made.
We will rejoice, we will rejoice
And be glad in it, and be glad in it.
This is the family that the Lord has made,
We will rejoice and be glad in it
This is the family, this is the family
That the Lord has made."
And I think that's the heart of life group. Everything else is important but really, it's that simple.