Tuesday, January 20, 2009

communion with natalya

As I mentioned a couple posts ago...there is a big part of me that misses Crossings meeting at Downtown West Theater for worship. Obviously, The Square Room is freaking spectacular and such a blessing. But I do miss the theater a little. For multiple reasons.

One reason is the prayer chapel.

Yes, there is a prayer chapel at 4MS and it probably is nicer than what we had at Downtown West. The prayer chapel there was just a long entry way into one of the unused theaters. It really was nothing special. Yet, with little more than a kneeling bench and some drapery, we somehow turned it into a sacred space each week.

Every Sunday morning, I would walk into the prayer chapel, past the drapery and into the dark theater to pray for a few minutes before service started. It was my one moment of stillness and quiet in what usually ended up as otherwise chaotic mornings. It didn't matter if sound systems weren't working or drummers were an hour late, I would find time to steal off and make my way into the theater to sit with God alone in silence.

That time meant so, so much to me.

But you know what meant more? When that time was interrupted.

Sitting in the theater, I would hear people as they entered the prayer chapel and began to pray. I know, I know...it sounds a little voyeuristic. Sometimes it was the Kids' City volunteers; other times it was Stucco (Student Community).

But the best was when Nate and Natalya came in.

Natalya is 5 years old. Nate is her daddy. And each week before dropping her off in Kids' City, Nate would bring Natalya into the prayer chapel and they would take communion together. Nate would ask her if she understood what it was they were doing. She would say "yes" and then proceed to explain it (and better than most Bible college students I know, but that is another topic). They would continue to talk about Jesus and ask each other questions, and then pray. It was always simple and always deep.

And then they would take communion together. Father and daughter.

Now, that is beautiful. That is good parenting.

Betsy and I are so lucky to be in community with so many couples who exemplify what it means to raise your children well. People in all stages of life; some with kids only a year or two older than Jude, others with kids in college and beyond. I know that I will never know how...but I fully believe Jude's life is being impacted by the example that these couples are to us.

Like most first time parents, we don't have a clue what we are doing. Well, Betsy kind of does. But I certainly don't. We are lacking in experience and knowledge. We have a need. And these couples are meeting our need, in a very real sense. And they don't even know it.

Isn't that what community is supposed to be like? Isn't that what the Kingdom of God is supposed to be like?

I miss Downtown West; I miss the prayer chapel; I miss communion with Natalya. But whether in an old movie theater or the newest, hippest concert venue in town, I am so thankful for this small community of people who are such a huge blessing to Betsy and I...and now Jude.


Adam Mayfield said...

I would love to hear details about hw you set up and use your "prayer chapel." Shot me an e-mail, if it is too much to out in an e-mail let me know and I will send you over my phone number.


michaelCODY said...

Good practice for when Judy comes.... right?