A House Church Hymn

Tim Chester recently spent time with Robert Banks, author of Paul’s Idea of Community, Going To Church In The First Century, and The Church Comes Home.  Robert introduced Tim to “a traditional Anabaptist household church hymn which he thinks has been passed down the generations from the sixteenth century.” It’s an appropriate description of what happens when our home church gathers for worship on the Lord’s Day.

What is this place where we are meeting?
Only a house, the earth its floor,
walls and a roof sheltering people,
windows for light, an open door.
Yet it becomes a body that lives
when we are gathered here,
and know our God is near.

Words from afar, stars that are falling,
sparks that are sown in us like seed.
Names for our God, dreams, signs and wonders
sent from the past are what we need.
We in this place remember
and speak again what we have heard:
God’s free redeeming word.

And we accept bread at his table,
broken and shared, a living sign.
Here in this world, dying and living,
we are each other’s bread and wine.
This is the place where we can receive
what we need to increase:
God’s justice and God’s people.

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