We’ve been sharing our home with our Lively Stones home care group for the past two years. When we first started, hosting was a lot more daunting. We cooked for eight to ten people every other week, dusted down and tidied up as best we could so that our place would be comfortable. On top of that, we thought carefully about the details of the sessions too: which materials to use, what order our study would follow, how to keep the discussions going smoothly.
But over the past months, we’ve tried to remind ourselves of the central reason for why we gather. In Acts 2:46–47, we see a picture of the early church: “And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favour with all the people.” The essence of a home care group is simply to offer a space where people can journey alongside each other in praise for all that God has done for them.
So now, each time we gather, we read a short bible verse and listen to each other’s highs and lows over the past two weeks. In so doing, we share how God’s truths play out in our lives. With every high, we see a new aspect of God’s loving provision. With every low, we learn that we’re not alone and try to remind each other of the hope and freedom we have in Jesus.
There may not be freshly prepared food each time we meet, and we may not have the most spacious nor cleanest home, but what we have is more than enough for His purposes. In the same way, in our sharing, we may not have the right answers, nor always be witnesses to life-changing breakthroughs or heart-rending tragedies. But just being there to help each other connect the day-to-day grind to the larger purposes of God is sufficient. We’ve found that when we’re less focused on presenting our “best selves”, we’re freed to focus more on others, joining our lives together in worship of Him. What we need is simply the desire to gather, read His word and share our lives as authentically as we can.
Jamie and Gina Lin