I'm starting this little post a little after 5:30 on a Monday early evening. Out my office window here at home I can see a purple-blue sky through the bare branches of trees and the tops of the red pines across the street. The lights on the hockey rink are on; their glow coming through the trees cause there to be shadows on the snowy front lawn. Soon the dark will take over. Soon it will be night.
I have an invitation to go over to the Begarowiczes' home tonight for what they are calling "Holy Spirit Christian Camaraderie." It's tempting to think about just staying home instead of going out into the 5 degreeF air. We don't have children at home these days so it's warm and peaceful here. But the Holy Spirit works together with the Word of God to lead me out to a place where other brothers and sisters in the Lord just might be gathering. So I will go -- at least for awhile.
I said "I" have an invitation to Begarowiczes'... but it's not just me who is invited. It's a wide open invitation that was printed in the handout everyone got yesterday at church. Don has given the invitation at Crossroads during our church family time, he's posted it on facebook, and it's been up on the website for awhile. This couple (Don & Robin) have invited people to their home in this way for about two years now on most Monday evenings.
Do people respond? Do people come? There was a time, I think in late 2012*, when about a dozen, more or less, were gathering regularly, studying to learn more about the work of the Holy Spirit--not just in study but also in practice--in prayer and in the sharing of experiences--such as when one or another person has believed themselves to be led or guided by God in a direct way. The group dwindled a bit as the spring progressed and then, in the summer, it changed and most of the people who were coming were people who were staying at the Cokato RV Resort and Campground through the summer. Now, this winter, there have only been two or three who have been there (other than Don & Robin).
Even so, I'm going to go. We Christians, disciples of Jesus--we spend far too little time together with one another around the Word of God. We live our Christian lives separately. We don't have deep experiences consistent community and "camaraderie." When we could gather, we tend to stay home. We stay home because we're tired or because we just don't want to go out. But, as I said at the beginning, the Holy Spirit, together with the Word of God--the Word of God that describes a church that meets together constantly and loves each other deeply--the Holy Spirit calls me to go, and so I will.
Will it be a wonderful evening? Perhaps. Or perhaps it will be mundane. I don't know. But gathering with brothers and sisters in Christ around the Word of God and prayer is going to be a whole lot better than always staying home.
* At that time we were going through a book--I think it was called How to Be Filled with the Holy Spirit (by A. W. Tozer). I liked some parts of the book but it was too detailed to be very inspirational for me. The group began as a "huddle" but changed into something else. More about that later.