Don't despise the day of small beginnings.Enjoy them. Savor them. Those were my thoughts as we made our way west through Los Angeles to our first Santa Monica Gathering with the intrepid team. Jim and Maggie,Brenden and Sammy,Bart and Adele, Erik and Celeste. More like family than friends. Incredible team.
In traffic its an hour and a half,but it feels like another state altogether from Orange County. Certainly another state of mind. I'm still trying to get my head around it but it seems like its urban chic meets tragic hip meets movie mogul meets tourist on the promenade, meets body beautiful rollerblader.
Everybody knows somebody famous. Beautiful tree lined neighborhoods tucked away from boulevard and beach have more of a family feel, but it still all feels pretty transient. But I like it. It feels pregnant. It feels vital and connected.
Its also where God has led us to a small group of people who have asked us to gather with them, forge an authentic gospel community with a Southlands connection, and see what God does. Sunday is the first of four trial gatherings. We meet in the upper room of a Nazarene Church on the corner of 18th and Washington. Its quaint. Its ambient. Its a beautiful blank canvas on which God will splash His colors and shades of redemption. Its 24 adults and 8 kids, with one man and his dog who pops in off the street just for the coffee and crispy cremes. The buzz of brand new friendships mixed with the awkwardness of a first date. It is pregnant with unformed life. It is warm and happy.
It doesn't feel like a trial. Let's hope it will become home for many.Let's hope it will be a place where homesick sons and daughters find a Father and a family.