It was quite a day at Richmond’s First Baptist Church!
First there was the work of explaining Mark 9:38-50 to a group of bright and attentive youth (that’s the “If your hand offends you cut it off” passage), followed by the harder work of explaining it to a group of children at the 11:00 service. One little boy fell backward off the steps and whacked his head on the floor, but I’m not sure if it came before or after that offending verse. And the sermon itself was from that passage in James 5 about praying for people and anointing them with oil and how “the prayer of faith will save the sick.” Made me wish I had thought to pray for that little boy with the bump on his head rather than simply handing him off to a doctor.
But then at lunch things began to get better. I invited all the 20-30 somethings at church today to join me for lunch and we gathered in the dining hall for spaghetti, salad, breadsticks (and what looked like some pretty delicious pecan pie). We ate for a while and chatted at our tables and then we began talking about what was already being done for that age group and what more could be done.
We talked about friendship and community and how important it is for Christians to be able to find each other in a city like this, but at some point we talked about how much bonding occurs through shared experiences. Brock suggested building a house together as a way to forge lasting friendships. Katie said that these 20-30 somethings are eager to get involved in hands-on projects that will really make a difference. I wondered aloud if this group might not be able to get involved at Essex Village, where there are 544 children who could really use some attention.
I’m not sure what will come of today’s lunch, but I saw people talking with each other afterward and exchanging email addresses. I wouldn’t be too surprised if this group becomes the core of a large group of 20-30 somethings, who take seriously the KOH2RVA mission, and who begin to do their share–and a little bit more–of bringing heaven to earth.