Monday, August 24, 2009

A Redemptive Sunday

It's great to have my parents back in the States. They just returned after a twenty-three week visit to England. We talk on the phone etc., but the other side of the Big Pond is just too far removed in so many ways.

So they came to church with us Sunday, took us out to lunch, then came home for a cup of tea and to ogle the new kitchen. It doesn't matter that I'm 53 now; they're still my mum and dad and I'm still their youngest child. There's a kind of security in that understanding that is unique and reassuring. It's a blessing to still have my parents here in this life with me; I hope that sense of thankfulness shows.

I'm also blessed beyond measure to be a part of a church family where we nurture and encourage one another ways that overlaps with the family dynamic but also stakes out ground that requires the family of God to meaningfully activate...

Yesterday I showed up at church less than my usual enthusiastic self. I was bummed about some aspects of my work and indulging in a measure of inwardly focused self-pity. But... the experience of being with my brothers and sisters was at once powerful and redemptive.
  • The worship was authentic;
  • the preaching was inspirational;
  • the proximity of 400 kindred spirits put me in touch with a collective energy that lifted my spirits;
  • watching Rebekah place the word of God in the hands of eleven rising second graders - and watching their expressions as she took time to share a personal word with each one - touched my heart at the deepest levels.
There is so much more. But it was in the evening, hosting our small-group (16 friends with young adult children), where I realized how redemptive the experience of family can be. "We moved far away from home when we came here (last year)," one couple said, "after living decades in the same community. This church is our family."

I can't say it any clearer that this. If you are not hooked into a church community where you can experience the kind of relationship with God and with other people that is at the core of our purpose and identity as beings created in the image of God - then think seriously about making such a faithful commitment. I know without a doubt that your life will never be the same.

Love and blessings - DEREK

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