Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Home Group (11/29/07)
TITLE: HUMAN, YET DIVINE!
By HARUNA ABDULMALIK
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Earthen vessels lived, meeting daily in humble enclosed spaces,careful to remain ‘earthen’ and transparent enough to express the indwelling Living Treasure! Human, nothing uncommon, nothing lofty, yet with the touch of something divine, strong and strange enough to turn the world upside down! Holy paradox - the design of the divine Hands, the demand of the divine Heart!
It was not the gold-adorned temple. It was Aristobulus’ house. A handful of new followers were gathered together. The Aroma of the Invisible poured forth as genuine simplicity and warm cordiality strictly replaced every Jewish formality of religious clichés, sanctimonious outlook and dead routines. The walls were modestly patterned, but not with an ‘order of service’ or a ‘code of conduct’. The bread rolled; the wine flowed! There were quarrels, yet there were apologies. Few took offence at several trivial things, yet everyone offered forgiveness. Nothing perfect, nothing golden, only God manifested in human virtues!
Everyone in Nymphas’ house sang in unison from the Psalms except for the little children playing and creating unpleasant harmonies in the other half of the same room. Someone only felt impressed that a little ‘psalming’ after meals would please the new-found in-dwelling One. No clergy; no laity. Everyone served and everyone spoke. God was being richly dispensed!
And Christ was adequately expressed! Many believers walked into the hall. Priscilla, Aquila’s wife, had just finished cleaning this extension to their new house. There was no opening prayer! Souls added to the church sat together around wooden tables with few older brethren in little clusters of threes, fours and fives (and not more), listening to one another, simply interested in one another, encouraging one another and bearing one another. No doctrinal teachings, but adequate grace was ministered to all. No one worked; all simply loved.
"... And the same day there were added unto them about THREE THOUSAND souls ... and fear came upon EVERY soul: and MANY wonders and signs were done ... [and they had] favor with ALL the people. And the Lord added to the church DAILY such as should be saved."[Acts. 2:41-47 (KJV), emphases mine].
Home groups. Home meetings. Vital groups. House fellowship. Small groups. There was no name then. They simply met from house to house and individual lives were gloriously transformed, living families were made and corporately, a new kingdom of divine species was born, sustained and even established. Christ, the Word who became flesh, was seen in humble homes, (daily tent-making and crude sea transports), thereby pleasing the Father's heart. They were human, yet divine!
That was then. It could and should be, even now!
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