Advent 2022: Saved You a Seat

Published December 5, 2022 by Mary Campbell

Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts. (Acts 2:46)

I made the decision to join South Main in a Jewish deli. Like so many of us, I was initially drawn to South Main for a plethora of reasons: the inspiring and theologically rich sermons, the unforgettable music, the breathtaking sanctuary, and so forth. Every time I visited, I would discover a new reason to come back.

But the day I knew I wanted to be part of the family of God at South Main Baptist Church was the day I was invited to lunch by some other twenty-somethings for no other reason than to eat lunch together. Because after moving to Houston from a town with more cattle than people in the middle of an isolating pandemic, all I hoped for was a church in which I belonged, a church where I was invited to the table. So as I sat eating my pastrami on rye, listening to the people who had invited me into a brief, mundane moment in their lives, I knew I had found what I was hoping for.

As we begin the Advent season, I'm often tempted to narrow my focus on the divinity of Christ's birth, the catalyst for the fulfillment of a plan thousands of years in the making. But between the birth and the crucifixion, Jesus' life was often defined by the simple moments and those He lived it with. He played with His brothers, danced at weddings, and ate at the tables of those He loved.

The lunches after church. The Saturday morning coffees. The impromptu Astros games. The simple, the ordinary, the mundane parts of our lives that we share with each other because fellowship with the family of God was never intended to be confined to a grandiose building for two hours once a week. Rather, the interwoven lives of believers are an integral part of the earthly fulfillment of our eternal hope in Christ: that the love and communion God desires to have with each of us would be reflected in the love and communion we have with and for each other.

Today, as we go about the ordinary, let us give thanks to those we live in the ordinary with and pray we have the opportunity to invite someone to our table.