Well, we didn't go up the mountain. Not everyone ended up being able to get away. So we had supper, checked in, walked around the neighborhood, talked about our vision for community, and sang and prayed.
We remembered that any community, church, and attempt at living the Christian way, always comes up short. We toasted to imperfection and to loving each other anyway.
In the midst of our singing and sharing about lousy summers, something beyond us seemed to settle in. It was a gentle presence. A palpable spirit of quiet hope. And I was transformed by being there with this presence. It only comes when I am with others.
It doesn’t seem to matter if we are all in despair, threadbare, and wandering around the landscape of our lives dumbfounded. It seems to calm us.
I experience this presence as it returns me to the truest grounding. Expands me beyond myself. This is God to me. And this is Christian community. The “Where ever two or more of you are gathered in my name, there I will be with you,” sort of community.
I can’t really explain it. But it’s why I believe in something more than we can see. And it’s why I keep on this path.