amy courts: en route

The Tie that Binds
June 13, 2010, 9:36 am
Filed under: Culture, Faith and Faith Life, Uncategorized

At least once each week – sometimes more, depending on the news – we receive an updated prayer list from our church family at The Village Chapel.

Sometimes, it’s a list chock full of praises and gratitude to God and one another for prayers answered. Recently, we rejoiced together for a brother who, over the course of 18 months of prayer, fighting, and chemo treatments, was pronounced clean and clear of his cancer.

And yet, it was coupled with the darker news this week about a sister who, after being hospitalized in the ICU for pneumonia gone wild, was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer. Her every breath is filled with pain…ours are filled with prayer. For comfort, peace, some kind of answer to the overarching “Why?” Why her? Why now? Why couldn’t it have been found sooner?

But here’s the thing: The church we call home is home to about 1500 people divided among four services. It’s not huge or mega…but it’s big. Much of the time, I read the prayer list and have to do some research in the church face book to find out who I’m praying for.

And yet, big as we are, we still function like a tight-nit family. We pray for one another…not just in passing when we receive the updates, or in depth in our personal daily lives. But every Sunday morning in service as well. We pray together. Sometimes, we take a good long while to pray for each other. Sometimes, our time spent in prayer exceeds our time spent in Scripture.

It’s good. It’s blessed. Because it’s the thread – this commitment to actively grieving together and rejoicing together – that binds the 9 o’clockers to the 11 o’clockers to the 6 o’clockers to the Saturday nighters. And it’s this bond that assures us that whether or not our names are known or our faces recognized, we have a rather large family praying for us when we need it. It assures us all that even if we’re not known intimately, we’re loved deeply…and we belong.

It’s the bond that creates Home.


5 Comments so far
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Beautiful… Thanks for sharing these thoughts.

Comment by Elizabeth

so beautiful. maybe i need to try your church. i started going to the anchor again, post-dcs drama w/the munsells and it’s just not homey.

Comment by leanna jackson

That’s amazing! I have a difficult time feeling connected in a larger church, and not every larger church knows how to manage to create that bond. I am glad yours has. Although I do think there is an upper limit on how big a church can get before that is lost.

Comment by orualundone

You’re right, Amy. The Village Chapel does so many things to create community, but maybe it is that Sunday morning pastoral prayer that lets us all know that we are individually noticed and cared for in a way nothing else can. If we have a need and ask for help, we know we will be met there.

Comment by Gwen Moore

It’s especially beautiful in contrast to another church we called home who, at one point, flat out refused to pray for a couple (a very active, very THERE couple) who were leaving for some ugly parts of Cambodia on the heels of learning she was pregnant. They said, “If we took time to pray for everyone who requested it every Sunday, we wouldn’t have time for the sermon or anything else.”

It was one of the things that drew us so solidly and warmly into TVC folds. Prayer ought to be more of a priority everywhere; thank God it is where we are!

Comment by amycourts

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