Psalm 125:2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore.
This weekend was our 3rd annual Ordinary Community Church family retreat and it just keeps getting better. As I've mentioned here, the past several weeks have been very difficult for me personally and I needed a break through, it came this weekend. Part of it is just having extended time with my church community. In the giving and receiving of love in these organic relationships just carries power. You feel surrounded and sheltered by love from one another as the whole community is sheltered by the love and Spirit of God.
We had 3 sessions and the topics were 1) Vulnerability - Being open to God and His Creation 2) Accountability - Being open to one another in community 3) Mission - Being open to our world.
Our times of worship and sharing in community were particularly powerful. We rarely have extended and secluded time for intimate, corporate worship and so we soak it up when we can. The Holy Spirit was present in power and there was a great depth in our sharing. OCC is in its 6th year and what I'm seeing now is the people taking complete ownership of what it means to live in christian community. Hardly perfect, but they see it as there's to mold and invest themselves into. It has changed their worldview and that takes time and journeying together. We have walked through a lot of darkness together, we're ready for a dawn, so let it come.
In the midst of this community, I also heard the voice of God in that still, small whisper. Saying words of affirmation that helped to bring some restoration to my own relationship with God. When this primary relationship is not in line, my whole life doesn't work, thus these past few weeks of struggle. I was filled with guilt and fear, God had nothing but words of love and affirmation. God is good.
Often retreats can lead to refreshing, this one did just that.