Yesterday I was with a group of Resurrection members, discussing our New Connections campaign. I asked them to name some of the connections that keep them connect to the congregation. The answers varied widely. Several commented on the connections of friendship that comes from worshipping, serving and playing together.
One member spoke to the fun he had serving on the Property and Image Team (aka “The P.I.T. crew”) who meet monthly to use tools and fix things around the church facility. Another appreciated the connections she makes in playing with a talented worship team and the praise we give together to God. A widow spoke on the comfort she finds in hugging others after church. A grandfather shared how significant it is to help shape and share the developing faith life of his granddaughter as she discovers the joy of God’ Word.
Community is a central piece of the Christian faith. Jesus started his ministry by immediately calling disciple to be his followers, his community (Mark 1:16-20). Throughout his ministry, Jesus gathered with people for meals and hospitality, even eating with outcasts and sinners like Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10). As he prepared to leave this motley crew of followers, he gave them his most demanding command.
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you should love one another (John 13:34).
I shared my own recent connection. In the morning worship Sarah Strovick had gathered the children for the children’s message. I was sitting in the front row watching the children seated on the floor in front of me. One little girl, about two years old, had taken off her new shoes. She was looking to her older sister for help. Her sister pointed to me and the younger child toddled over, holding up her new shoes for me.
I reached out my arms and placed her on my lap. She handed me each shoe and peacefully watched as I replaced them on her feet. As I did this, I was reminded of the story of Moses and the burning bush when God commanded Moses to take off his shoes since he was on holy ground. I also thought of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. Memories of putting shoes on my own children years ago flowed through me. As the little girl sat in my lap it became a holy connection for me. It became a moment when God reminded me again that I am loved, just as this little girl is loved and cared for. With a touch of reluctance I place set the toddler back on the floor with the other children.
A new connection with God and community had been formed in me.
Lord Jesus, thank you that I am your child, connected to you through your word and your people.