Over the past three Sunday nights, ministrieslab has been popping up at Transitions and leading a communion-based worship service. We knew we were responding to a need for a community who had no worship service on Sundays and who had limited mobility to attend church services, but we weren’t sure what would come out of our worship experience. Since the uniting factor of this community is that the clients don’t have homes, I’ll be the first to admit that I thought these would be the needs that would come up during our time of worship.
I was wrong.
I let my assumptions and societal labels determine how I saw the people with whom we are creating church rather than listening to their voices express their needs. Last night as we shared in the prayers of the people, I heard need. It was need for reconciliation with loved ones. It was need for community in the midst of grief. It was need for healing in the midst of physical pain and limitation. It was need for hope in desperate situations.
It was need, just like my need.
Our church that is forming with this community is just like any other church. This church is in need of a word from God. A reminder of the transforming power of God’s love for God’s people. A promise of hope in the midst of brokenness and pain.
And this preacher needed the reminder that the labels of homeless, unemployed, or addicted are identities we humans label each other with in order to divide, compare, and make ourselves feel better than other people. When it comes down to it, we are all God’s people struggling and wrestling to find that divine breath Creator God breathed into humanity so that we can become living beings and co-creators who bring the kingdom of God here on earth.