What a Sunday. The new sermon series to start 2015 is “Family Matters” – complete with a cozy fireplace, followed by a wonderful church potluck that continued with the family matters theme.
We had a great discussion at our “family” table, and one of the topics of discussion: LOGOS! What wonderful memories I have of our daughters growing up in the Youth Club/LOGOS program. From the fun around the family dinner table, which was led by some of the best “dinner deans” ever, to the kids practicing their worship skills to participate in an upcoming service, this program allowed our girls to form relationships with just about every member of our church family – young and old alike. Case in point: I just received an email from a dear friend from our former church family who said to tell Jordan, our youngest daughter, thank you for the Christmas card she sent…that it feels good to be remembered by the “youngsters!”
This new sermon series also made me think about the bible study our small group is currently doing. It is a Max Lucado study titled, “Out Live Your Life.” In the first week of the study, Lucado reminded us that there are no personal pronouns in Acts 2:42-47. “It’s not about us as individuals; it’s about the body of Christ working together.” We are called to share – to build fellowship with others such as in sharing a meal together. Pastor Bev reminded us today of how that simple invitation turns strangers into friends. This article, “Meals matter to the mission” emphasizes the same. The author reminds us that “Jesus did evangelism and discipleship around a table with some fish, bread and wine.” There is just something about sharing food that makes us feel more connected with those we are sharing it with, and we need to remember a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a five-course meal produces the same results.
“It’s no accident that hospitality and hospital come from the same Latin word, for they both lead to the same result: healing. When you open your door to someone, you are sending this message: ‘You matter to me and to God.’ You may think you are saying, ‘Come over for a visit.’ But what your guest hears is, ‘I’m worth the effort.'” – Max Lucado
This was one of my favorite take-away points from the last lesson, and it reminded me that we tend to think we are all too busy in this world today to take the time for such invitations. I’m blessed to be a part of a small group at church that takes the time to fellowship with each other, pray for each other, laugh with each other and just build relationships with each other.
Another point this study has prompted us to think about is what are we passionate about and how can we make a difference. Two things came to mind for me: Alzheimer’s and children – interesting, how there is an inter-generational theme continuing here! The Alzheimer’s mission is obviously relatively new for me and stems from my own personal journey with my dad, but it is certainly something I am passionate about. As for children, from being a mom, Sunday School teacher, LOGOS volunteer, teacher – yes, even though my students are college age – to now being a grandma, my heart has always been drawn to service to children and making a difference in their lives.
I know the role grandparents played in our daughters’ lives, and I KNOW I count my blessings that we live close – next-door-neighbor close to our grandchildren. We get to play with them, share meals with them, worship with them, and I know we are important to them just as they are important to us. When I came across the article, “Children Need Grandparents,” it too spoke to my heart and my passion.
Then today, in addition to the new “Family Matters” sermon series and the family potluck discussion, we were also given a copy of “Wesley’s Covenant Prayer.” This prayer invites God to put me where He needs me, with whom He needs me to be with.
You might be asking, “Stacey, what’s your point?” Well, my point is that I’m not sure what God has in store for me for 2015, but I think it is clear that I need to make sure I am listening and ready to have God “put me to doing.”
I am excited…and a bit nervous…as to what God will call me to do in 2015, and I am excited to see what God will call my church family as a whole to do in the coming year.
Family matters, so pull up a chair and let’s talk!