One Easter morning, I was drawn to the riverside. Home from college, I was looking for something more than fraternity parties, cute guys, and great clothes. I had a vague idea that I could find this something … if I just went to the riverside.
Churches from across my small town were coming together for a sunrise worship service. I really wasn’t interested in church as I had known it, but coming to the riverside on Easter morning was attractive to me.
I wanted to hear the story of the resurrection. I wanted music and sunrise. Ultimately, I wanted life.
So, I went to the riverside that Easter morning. It was beautiful. A casual band of early morning worshipers and seekers gathered. As the sun rose above the Neuse River, voices and trumpets and violins mingled with the early light spilling across Union Point.
I stood on the edge of the crowd that day and just took in the beauty. As the worshipers sang and the story was read, I was drawn to this Jesus.
And, although my heart was moved and I was attracted to Jesus, it would take more pain in my life before I surrendered my heart to him.
Centuries ago, another band of worshipers gathered by the riverside. Women, who knew a bit about God, met for prayer. Lydia, a businesswoman, was there. She wasn’t religious and she didn’t go to “church” to find God. She went to the riverside.
Paul and Timothy joined the women there. These men spoke with the women telling them about Jesus and speaking words of life. God opened Lydia’s heart and she listened, really listened. Drawn to Jesus, she heard these words of life and surrendered her heart to him. Acts 16:13-15
Over these next weeks, I would like to invite you to join me at the riverside. From this first gathering of women with Lydia, Paul, and Timothy, a community of faith was birthed — a riverside community where women and men learned to love God, love each other, and live as lights in the world.
At the riverside, we’ll gather for the same purpose — to love God, love the people in our lives, and live as lights in the world.
I’ll bring to you stories, and scripture, and encouragement. Would you join me at the riverside?
Here’s the way it will work. Monday – Thursday, I’ll post a short post with a story, 3-5 verses from the book of Philippians, and a few questions for you to consider. Friday, I’ll recap and give you some things to think about over the weekend. You may want a small notebook or journal to record your thoughts.
Eventually, I did surrender my heart to Jesus. And through these years I’ve become convinced that we find life, real life, at the riverside. I want this life for you. I hope you’ll join me … at the riverside.
Interested? Have questions? Leave me a comment or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please, subscribe so that you don’t miss a post. Thanks so much!