Full Circle?

2… 3…7… 10… I was fascinated by the growing numbers. 11, 22, 31…. The curve kept climbing. Faster and faster. 35, 44, 56, 58… Would it flatten? 59… 60… 61… Ah, was it beginning to plateau? 62… 63…. 63… and holding steady. Looks like it.

I never understood ‘curves’ at school. But here I was, this Spring Sunday morning, excited by rising numbers. I clicked the video icon, pictures popped into view; happy, relaxed people, grandparents, mums and dads and children, gathered in their lounges, kitchens, studies, even one in the garden. Odd though, nobody in their ‘upper room’… where it all began. Never mind. Odd too, no sign of Nymphas, Philemon, Aquila or Priscilla the early pioneers of this model. What would they think of our 21st Century church? Cosy?

Too cosy? Mmm, I imagined being in some foreign land. Listening for the coded knock on the door. Issuing a quick prayer before responding. Taking a deep breath, telegraphing another prayer, opening it to the full extent of the security chain, peeking out. Relaxing, it’s a familiar smiling face. ‘Good morning sister, you weren’t followed, were you?’

A furtive glance behind her, ‘No, not today. Thank God.’ I slid the chain and opened the door. In the crowded front room, she greeted the others, all there risking their lives to praise God.

I rejoined my tranquil reality, watched the screen and as I listened to our online service I do confess to thinking [Ssssh, don’t tell Conference]… What price church buildings?