We did a Thanksgiving interaction at our gathering last night. Each of us brought a paper bag in which we had placed three objects representing three things that we were thankful for. For those interested, I will explain at the end of this post how this interactive experience works.
In any case, as I was reflecting on what I wanted to put into my bag I thought, “I want to put a living room in my bag because I am so grateful for the living church experiences I have had, that I continue to have, and that others have all over the world in living rooms! (Since I couldn’t fit a living room in my paper bag, I ended up putting a coffee cup in to represent the community experience of life in a living room).
So, this has me thinking about living rooms. Even the name: “living” room. Very cool. Sure, it’s about a place where people can physically “live” together, but isn’t it amazing what happens in these living rooms all over the world as these normal spaces are being reclaimed as centers of worship and spiritual, community life. They are, quite literally, fulfilling their purpose as a room where “life, real life” happens.
Think about what happens in “living” rooms that have become central gathering places for the Body of Christ:
- Worship of the King of Kings
- Intercessory prayer for friends, neighbors, and nations
- The Presence of Jesus enjoyed
- The living ministry of Jesus present as ministry takes place one to another
- Authentic, one-another, family-community expressed
- Much more (this list can easily be doubled and tripled)
But here is what really got me excited! Think about all of the “living rooms” all over the world. Now, granted, many living rooms are very small. Some are covered with thatched roofs. In fact, some “living rooms” are literally outdoor areas under a tree. But, these are still the place where living people live together and gather together.
So think about all of these living rooms and the potential for each and every one to be a gathering place for the presence of Jesus! What potential! What an amazing, simple vision! Every living room a gathering place for the Body of Christ! Every living room a display of the family of Jesus! Every living room a place of worship and prayer! Every living room a focal point from which “life” is pouring out into the community surrounding it.
I am definitely celebrating living rooms! Me-thinks God has had a vision for living rooms from the beginning of time!
Note on Thanksgiving Paper Bags: So here is how we did this. Everyone brought a paper bag with three objects in it representing three things that they are thankful for. Important rule: You cannot include God or your family as things to be thankful for. This is not to negate that we are all thankful for God and our family, but—that’s just the point—we are ALL thankful for God and our family so that would take up two or three objects already. So, move past those and come up with three other things to be thankful for, then put objects in your bag that represent those three things. When we gathered, one person chose a bag (not their own) to open. The idea, then, is to try to guess whose bag it is based on what’s in the bag. The person who opens the bag tries to guess the owner of the bag. If he is not successful, others in the room can chime in until the owner is identified. Then the owner of that bag explains his/her three objects, what they represent and why they are thankful for that. Finally, that person picks up the next bag and the process continues. Very fun and very meaningful. We have used this with family on Thanksgiving Day as well.