“Sit still on your chair, Jonathan,” I remember the teacher call out.
“Sit up and eat your dinner,” I catch myself say.
“You may now be seated,” a pastor warmly begins.
“Sit down, I have to tell you something…”
So we face each other sofa seated, beverage sipping, and I confess. You, puzzled, repeat back to me, “So you fear…chairs?”
A deep seated fear
Unable to turn, jump, laugh, wriggle.
In my fond growing up memories I was never seated.
In lectures, in meetings, in difficult times I was always seated.
Organizational meetings, schools, and Sundays are all times for chairs.
Times I find with no time to ask, respond, interact, impart.
Times to sit, in rows, to listen, be quiet.
I have taken my seat in many places, diversely seated in the world:
Crowded fragrant Asian restaurants,
European plate-clinking cafes,
Welcoming USA homes,
Fun-loving Aussie backyards.
Some cultures express hospitality chairlessly, with a cushion and tea, simply.
They know that rows are not a relational thing.
Here in our corner of Europe, people don’t gather on sofas in homes, but when they do sit—
And they often prefer to stand—they rest socially upon bar stools, plaza benches.
And some seats have softly won my heart.
Sofa seated in a home (like yours) or kitchen stool seated
I have experienced friends kindly taking seat in my heart.
So, “please take your seats.”
The underlying restlessness that keeps me from sitting is my fear
That as followers of Jesus
We may spend our time trying to usher people into seats
Rather than meet with them on cushions, sofas and bar stools.
Did Jesus ever invite his listeners to sit in rows to listen to him teach?
So, what do I propose?
Be creative as church.
Be in fellow worshipful meeting in blooming field,
In coziness of rain dry home,
At a bar or church building.
Don’t invite people to be seated.
Most of the world will never be seated
So out there is your opportunity to pastor, to share.
Be interactive with Jesus and interactive with each other.
Be. Go, meet, worship, move.