Are we Grapes or Marbles?

Imagine as you sit down in your seat for worship, Pastor Kevin comes over to you with a bag of marbles. “I’d like you to shake these until I tell you to stop. Would you do that for me?” You think his request is odd, but agree and start shaking. Kevin hands a second bag full of juicy green grapes to the person beside you and says, “Would you shake these until I tell you to stop?” They, too, agree to Kevin’s bizarre request. And you both start shaking. And shake. And shake. To your surprise, Kevin keeps looking your way smiling, and nodding his head up and down as to clearly say, “Keep shaking.” You keep shaking until worship is over, and Kevin has finished teaching, and the blessing given. Then Kevin walks over and asks for the two bags.

He gets back one bag of marbles, and one bag of mush. One bag made noise but remains unchanged. The other bag changed quietly and the contents will never be the same. Churches are either bags of marbles or grapes. The difference is authentic community. Marble churches rattle with activities. Grape churches ooze with relationships – friendships that flourish when we get real
and let the juices of our lives flow through authentic sharing and caring.

Calvary is a large bag. Whether grapes or marbles, there are nearly 1000 of us in here when we come together on Sunday mornings. The temptation would be to conclude that large churches can’t mush. But is this true? In Acts 2, the church in Jerusalem was at least 3,000 and could have been over 5,000, and yet, here is how the people in this congregation were described: “And they were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship (sharing life in common) and to the breaking of bread (meals together) and to prayer…they were continuing with one mind…and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart” (Acts 2:42, 46). That’s mush.

For those who would say, ‘That’s A.D. 35. Times of changed,” I would point you to another mushy moment in our future. Here’s how 1
Corinthians describes Heaven: “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I shall know fully
just as I also have been fully known”(13:12). Face to face, fully known. That’s mushy mush.

Calvary aspires to be lower rattle and higher mush. It’s not accidental that our logo is the cross and the cluster of grapes. Jesus’ sacrifice made it possible for us to be the family of God and to flow together as brothers and sisters. I welcome your insights and suggestions on how Calvary can be more effective helping the skins to come off and the juices of caring and sharing and deep friendships to grow.

Five ways to Mush

  1. Linger in Coffee Connection or the lobby with a few friends
  2. Attend a mini-congregation faithfully
  3. Join one of our dozens of ministry teams
  4. Join one of our many small groups
  5. Invite several people to join you for coffee or dessert at a restaurant or your home

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