Kingdom Come

To Ben, David, and Zach. Lydia, Mallory, Abbey, Hannah, Abigail, Lindsay, and Piper. Andrew, Luke, Noah, Will, Samuel. Annafe, Katie, Amelia. Laci and MG and Danielle. Audria, and every single other person who I thought of while writing this.

The old blue walls, slanted floors, and road signs sit without us.
The location has moved a little ways up to hill to the big church, but its atmosphere remains.

Five years out from my first night in that place, I now come back just to visit and help lead.
Yet, when I return
Excitement bubbles and erupts in laughter and embrace, in dancing and silly faces.
I look at the people who are family
In their faces I see memories of different experiences and feelings, too many to name.

Though they can be named, these things cannot quite be explained

Things like learning how to do ministry as a group in sticky Augusta, and how to love one another when we are stuck in the mountains together for a week. The late nights of nertz, dozens of Phil Wickham and Rend Collective songs, Frisbee-throwing lessons, gobs of Chick-fil-a, the tears and laughter of deep sorrow and bursting joy.

When I come back, I wonder how I ever spent time away.
Even when I have visited for days or even a week, every interaction is another celebration resulting in group hugs and joy.

In all of this, I see the work of Jesus in our lives that knits us together.
The work that started so may years ago, and how it has changed since then.
We are growing up.
But those bonds that were formed somehow stay. Reaching between college and high school, across states, marriages, and jobs,

We still whisper deep conversations before we sing for worship, yell sarcastic comments, and giggle uncontrollably until 1:00 AM, with  Bibles open before us, usually with some Oreo's and sparkling grape juice, too.

When we meet, rejoicing erupts.
We change and grow and move apart- but we are truly continuing to move together.
We will not let go of these moments. We will continue to bear with one another. This is what the Gospel teaches us to do.

Romans 12:9-13


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