The disciples of Jesus recall him once saying, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Mt. 8:20) One could go so far as to say that the Lord of all creation spent the years of his earthly ministry, effectively, homeless! While this strategy would have had its social and logistical challenges, and while one could certainly imagine that the infinite resources of Heaven COULD have afforded the Son of God more comfortable accommodations, there was just something about this arrangement that uniquely expressed the character of God; unbound by walls, received as and by the grace of receptive cities, homes and hearts.
In a similar fashion, The Commons faces some unique challenges as a church without a "home", in terms of a dedicated, physical campus. Over the two-plus years that we have been on this journey together, we have gathered and worshipped together in a breathtakingly wide variety of contexts: homes, schools, bars and restaurants, barns, and in the open air. We have expressed our joy and journey in Christ through barbecues, service projects, bible studies, conversations over coffee, holiday gatherings, as well as in faithfulness to corporate song, prayer, and submitting ourselves to the witness of the Word of God, wherever and however our circumstances have allowed. It's been quite a journey - and if I may say, a blessed one - as we have learned together what it means to BE the church of Jesus, beyond the walls and trappings of a permanent facility. We've been forced by circumstance, in the sovereign, shaping hands of God, to learn that Church is not something that we go TO, but that the Church of Jesus Christ is made manifest WHEREVER we go, as we commit together to offer witness and worship to Jesus.
This coming Sunday, we have the privilege of being, and worshipping, as the Church of Jesus Christ in the open air at the heart of our city. For our Fall kickoff Gathering, we will be meeting for worship at 10:30am on the Rochester town Commons: The Commons, ON the commons! Appropriate, in many ways.
This Sunday: "Gathering", 10:30am on the Rochester Commons
For those of you who have been paying attention, this is a DIFFERENT location than we had originally planned on. It's true. And, on top of that, we only found out in the last day or so that our originally requested-and-planned location was not going to work out. Challenges, galore, for a church on-the-move! But this we know: wherever we as a people commit ourselves to worship and witness, wherever we stand in praise and in submission to the life-giving Word of God, there Jesus himself is in our midst. And, furthermore, by the ministry of the Holy Spirit, there will be the CHURCH.
So, come. Join us this Sunday. We'll be doing what we do; rejoicing in our the hope we have in Christ, and bearing witness to that hope for our city. Come this Sunday, bring a friend, and let's build a sanctuary of praise, a church, worthy of our Savior King.