Anyway, as we walked into the chippie to find a table... there was a bizarre sense that we had just walked into the saloon in a Western and everything had gone quiet. People watched us from the entrance to our seats. It felt uncomfortable... but got me thinking. We were watched because this isn't our community. We were strangers in the area.
This made me long for the day when my church is within my community... and I no longer need to physically or even spiritually commute. You know what I mean when I say physically... My church is 2 or 3 miles away from our house. This isn't a huge commute... I could cycle it, I suppose... but I am never going to walk passed a local when I walk Pippin... or while I am walking to my work. I am only present in this community when I am at church... and not 24-7.
In addition, what I mean by spiritual commuting is the old chestnut of secular vs spiritual. We see it all as divided and commute to church... we go to church, just as I go to work. We travel from secular to sacred and back again.
The thing is... there is no such thing as sacred and secular... As Larson and Osborne put it in the emerging church :
...we must realise that in this situation, when the wall no longer exists between the secular and the sacred, it is the world for which Jesus Christ lived and died and for which He now longs. When the veil of the temple was rent, it was not only an indication that Jesus' death on the cross opened a new access to God and made available the holiest of holies to man. The reverse is also true: God was no longer confined to the sanctuary, but was loose in the world to do His relentless and ruthless work of challenging, confronting, forgiving, redeeming, releasing, an enabling men to be sons of God.((page 112))
Far from being a threat, the disintegration of the wall between sacred and secular is a fantastic opportunity for the emerging church.../
What I long for is the day when I can grab a chippie or a latte and not be followed like a stranger... but welcomed as a local. A local shining his particular light in this dark world.
Its about the whole of me... and my longing for my whole life to be one. To share church with likeminded people who I cohabit space with... or share interests with.
All this from fish and chips!!! What do you think?