Not long ago in reference to our weekly men's bible study group, I said that it was kind of like a Christian version of the TV show Cheers. It had become a place where men would show up because everyone knew their name.
It wasn't a particularly positive opinion, as I was longing to find a group with more depth. Whatever that means. I guess I really wanted to find a place where I could have deep, significant conversations and be challenged both spiritually and intellectually.
This past Sunday I was alone in San Jose, CA and decided to venture off to Peninsula Bible Church in Cupertino. It's a small, older church with the classic A-frame architecture and wooden pews. I ventured to a spot where I could be a casual observer and the crowd seemed light so I thought I was perfectly situated.
Now for those of you who have attended Woodinville Alliance Church and complain about late arrivers, you got nothing on these guys. Most people didn't arrive to their seats until AFTER the 2nd song. So as the people showed up and we shuffled along the wooden pews to make room, I found myself sitting three people from the center aisle with folks pressed in on both sides. The woman next to me introduced herself, "Hi I am Mary and this is Joe." Hmmm...Mary and Joseph? She then sized me up and said, "You are a big fellow!" So much for being inconspicuous.
Well we sang the songs, honored the graduating seniors and heard a really great sermon from Isaiah. And then I shuffled off to the parking lot. At that moment I longed to be in a place where someone simply knew my name.