However, despite my complete lack of knowledge, I was welcomed into the house church with open arms. There was an intimate setting of people, eight people including Pastor Andy and myself, and the age range varied greatly! There were people ranging from a young man who I would guess was in his early twenties all the way to people that were old enough to be his grandparents (one man even was on the same floor of a dorm at CSU as my great uncle in 1964, so small world!). And yet, there was no disparity in the community because of the age gap. We sat together as peers, fully engaged and listening to one another.
Once everybody had gathered, we all made our plates. One of the members made the main courses (and yes, there were options) while other members brought side dishes. When we sat at the table, Pastor Andy opened the meal with the communion, but only the first half...
Andy explained that at Mustard Seed, they view their entire meal as a holy space of communion with each other, so before we started eating our dinner, we served each other gluten free bread (so all can eat) and proclaimed to each other “Christ’s Body, given for you.” Then, we ate together, laughed together, and discussed an article that multiple members of the larger House Church community had given to Pastor Andy called, “Christian: You Are Upset About the Wrong Things,” as well as the Beatitudes from the book of Luke.
There wasn’t a liturgy to the House Church, but there was genuine, organic, and authentic community. These people were delving into relationships with one another and into Christ’s works and words together. We sat together in the Holy Space of communion that hadn’t yet closed, and we experienced Christ through our conversation and through one another.
Our conversation and our meal came to an end, and Andy closed our time together by finishing communion. He blessed the wine and grape juice, and we poured for each other. Once everybody had their wine or grape juice, we together proclaimed and remembered, “The Blood of Christ, Shed for You.”
The meal was over, and people cleaned up and chatted and dispersed the way everybody does after a church service. As I drove home, I kept reflecting on the profound and special way that Mustard Seed does church. We sat in the Holy Space of communion, the meal that transcends all time and space to bring all of the saints together. We sat in that cosmic space together, and experienced Christ, and it was beautiful. Thank you, Mustard Seed, for our beautiful time together.