We're out of internet at the Lutheran Center - apparently I used it all up stalking students on Facebook. KIDDING! Actually, our router and the whole darned network went out on Friday, so the planned upgrade this week just got redefined, from "would be nice" to "gotta have it." Since I
- can't print,
- can't email,
- can't use the online worship planner I usually use,
- can't download the form for my annual report to the bishop, and
- can't do pretty much anything else;
I know people who are doing exactly what I'm doing right now, only permanently. Rather than spend time building, renovating and maintaining a building, their congregations meet in various places, and their pastors spend a lot of time doing exactly what I'm doing today. In some ways, I envy them (especially when we're out of internet). They don't have to spend time recruiting folks to shovel snow, vacuum lounges, or clean bathrooms; they certainly don't have to come up with several thousand dollars worth of internet connections, since they're piggybacking off the locals who offer the service for free.
But I also know that there is something incarnational about being a worshiping community that has a place to call home. Abraham might have been a nomad, and David might have worshiped God in a tent, but God also "dwelt among us," and I think there's something to be said for having a place our faith community can call "home." The price we pay, of course, is vigilance in two ways: tending to the needs of the building, and avoiding the temptation to think the building is the church. Having a long-term home says, "We're not going anywhere: we're in this for the long haul." Being faithful isn't just about Bible studies and coffee shop conversations; sometimes we're faithful by being good neighbors, too, and it's hard to be a good neighbor if you don't know where you live.