I hope you enjoyed your celebration of Thanksgiving yesterday, either with friends and family members, or with your church family here at Hope.
Sally and I were thrilled to sit around a table with my mom and our three kids, all of whom were able to come “home” for the weekend, despite some tricky weather and airport delays. With our kids living all over the country, it’s a rare and cherished thing for us to be able to share a meal together.
There’s just something deep and meaningful about family (home or church). We know each other better than anyone, easily recognizing strengths and weaknesses. Yet, we still choose love. We hold each other accountable. We work, serve, cook, eat, clean up, listen, pray, worship, talk, laugh, cry and do life … together. We remind each other of our true identity, challenge, encourage, comfort, empower, strengthen, forgive and extend grace.
At our best, the church (in small and medium sized groups and teams) functions as that kind of family for one another. It’s not a poor substitute for a “real” family … it’s the family of God. We’re designed for it … to be in relationship with others as we grow in relationship with God.
… And it’s really good to be the church together with you!
As we move through the Season of Advent (starting this weekend at all of Hope’s services), prepare for our celebration of Christmas, and look ahead to next year, I want to encourage you to get to know your family at Hope better. Find a group. Get involved in a ministry. Love one another. Because our relationship with God is always stronger when we’re in healthy, Christ-centered church family relationships with one another!
Pastor. Preacher. Turkey Stuffer … feeling sort of like a Stuffed Turkey today.
P.S.- In response to the news coming out of Ferguson this past week, I posted just a few thoughts on my Facebook page (140 character max on Twitter just doesn’t work sometimes). If you’re interested, please click this link.