Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Sunday in the City

Truly He taught us to love one another, 
His law is love and His gospel is peace. 
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother. 
And in his name all oppression shall cease.

This past Sunday was possibly my very favorite Sunday since we've lived here (which is saying a whole lot).

It reminded me of how INCREDIBLY worth it, despite a lot of transit time and a lot of effort (particularly on the weekends that I'm by myself with the kids), it is to be part of two communities of faith. Our two churches here meet very different needs and both are so very important to us.

This morning we worshiped with our TGC Crown Heights friends. It is a very diverse congregation, very dedicated to social justice while never placing it before the Gospel. There was a lot of talk about celebrating the newborn baby while also exalting the man on the cross. The sermon spoke to the importance of these things in spite of the recent events that have our (can I call it our? I always hesitate to do that) city hurt and broken. There was a palpable collective grief, evidenced powerfully when our pastor's voice broke a few times. And the conversation I had with a dear friend after the service is one I will take with me wherever we live for the rest of my life.

This evening we attended a wonderful candlelight service at a beautiful historic church (Saint George's) in Manhattan that we are also very proud to claim. The priest started his meditation quoting the stanza of "O Holy Night" above and preached on our great hope in the midst of pain and sadness. How the eternal became temporal so the temporal could be eternal and what great hope lies in just that there.

This year (and specifically this season) has not been without hardship. But it has been inexplicably worth it. And so much of it's worth comes from these two bodies of believers we are so blessed to be a part of.

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