Come on, sing it with me.....you know the words.
.....................of the family of God
I spent last weekend at the first family camp my church has put on since I was a kid. With my girls in tow, I went despite scheduling conflicts and time pressures because I really felt the HS nudge. He pressed into me that being there would make a difference.
It's about rebuilding church family
It's a chance to be part of the seed of new growth
God knows I love to be part of something good....like right in the middle. He has been telling me for 10 years now, if I want to be part of something good then stick with this church.
But I've got to tell you, the past 10 years has not looked good! We have been without a pastor for 3 of those years. Attendance is waning. People are listless. I was involved in women's ministry for a time but that has disbanded. And throughout this time I have been questioning whether or not I am on the same page as my church or even in the same book.
Did I hear you right Lord? Are you sure it's not time to move on?
I have inquired prophetically of the Lord twice with these questions. Both times he responded through the group with whom I was praying with a resounding YES!!!!
you are a warm ember
a season of perseverance.
the Kingdom of God was near.
Finally - this February, a pastor was found and he joined us this month. Everyone loves him, including me. He seems a perfect fit for our unified yet vastly diverse congregation.
So back to Family Camp......
Well first off, the Lord blessed us with divinely warm weather on this often rainy Victoria Day weekend. The atmosphere was welcoming and tenderhearted. We really needed this. It felt like a big sigh after a long struggle. As well, the Lord answered the desire of my heart that my children would get with some friends. It has been a struggle to get them involved and connected.
And lastly....the guest speaker chose to talk about Church Family. He focused on a word that is used much in the New Testament. Alellon - one another. I couldn't imagine a more appropriate message at this time.
I thought I would do a little study of my own and look up many of the ways that this word is used in the NT.
Bear with one another
Love one another
be at peace with one another
wash one another's feet.
Be devoted to one another
give preference to one another
Be of the same mind toward one another;
serve one another.
Bear one another's burdens
showing tolerance for one another
we are members of one another.
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted
be subject to one another
regard one another as more important than yourselves
bearing with one another
encourage one another and build up one another
seek after that which is good for one another
stimulate one another to love and good deeds,
confess your sins to one another
clothe yourselves with humility toward one another
It occurs to me the high calling we have to make it work with one another. The Lord made us for spiritual community. It's not always easy and we have to be purposeful about it. We have to clothe ourselves with it.