No matter what time my wife and I rise it seems that right before the brothers and sisters arrive we find ourselves busy with the practical things like arranging chairs, putting out song books and making bread for the Lord’s Table. However, it is the time before we start to hustle, when the house is quiet and the living room empty that my heart is most stirred with thankfulness that the Lord has so honored us by having his saints gather in our home. I find myself wondering with expectation whom will the Lord bring today and what does He have in store for us. There is such a sense of it being His gathering and not ours even though it is in our home.
The first to enter is a wonderful older brother. He has brought his breakfast with him and he sits in the kitchen eating while my wife prepares the coffee and I the bread. I so hope that when I am his age I will be as zealous for the Lord as he is. Next it is a younger brother who has brought some nuts for break time snack. His laughter fills the kitchen when I scold him for bringing unsalted nuts while my wife, right behind me, praises him for doing so. I peek into the living room and realize some has entered unnoticed and are seated already, only to turn again and see others pouring themselves cups of coffee. The atmosphere is full of joy and greetings, there is love evident in the faces and the air is a vibrant in expectation that the Lord will be in our midst, making Himself known to us. Finally after most have arrived, we all being seated, filling up the living and dining room, someone begins to pray asking the Lord’s blessing on the gathering, after which some announcements are made concerning different practical things. Prayer, again, spontaneously burst forth for those things which leads into the expression of many other burdens on the hearts of the saints. From one to another, as if pulling each other into the very Holy of Holies, the prayers are owned by all and left at the foot of the Throne of Grace. Then a brother calls a song and it is sung as unto the Lord. A verse is shared and tied into a testimony of what the Lord has done during the previous week. This continues, testimony and song, prayer and thanksgiving, until someone senses the time is right and our hearts are right to take of the Lord’s Supper. With a blessing and supplication they will pass the cup and then the loaf. After all has partaken we will generally take a break. During which we all mingle, snacking on what has been brought. This is a short time but most pleasant.
After the break is over we will return to our seats to hear the brothers minister from the scriptures. There is no designated speaker but the floor is open to all. There is often, however, a book in the Bible we have agreed to speak from if there are not messages given. Often going through the book together is what the saints look forward to but preference is always given to one who has something else.
After the teaching there is a meal, provided by all, a pot luck. Most will stay and eat together but at this time people leave at their leisure with some often staying talking of spiritual things far into the afternoon.
There you have it, a typical Sunday gathering.