Why I Love My Church Family
I wonder if his friends have stopped calling, and am curious if he is planning to go to church this Easter. He had mentioned that he likes to help out the church camp with their hay and horses in summer.
Do you know what the “Last Supper” is? It’s the time Jesus, the Son of God, served his disciple’s bread and wine in order for them to remember Him. At Easter, people who are Jesus followers celebrate the resurrection of Christ. He was killed on a cross, shed blood to take the place of our sins to make us right in the eyes of God. He broke the bonds of death by rising from the dead, the day in which we celebrate Easter.
This year I am celebrating my 27th Easter with my church family. I have a wonderful group of people who are brothers and sisters in Christ who care for me and love me deeply in a myriad of ways. I thought it was time to reflect on all the ways they care for me, because I am respected, and I don’t take my church family support for granted.
If this is the year for you to cross the threshold of the local church doors for the Easter Sunday service, here’s some benefits of being there all year round:
LOVE …Unconditional support . My Dad and my siblings live far away. My church family greets me with a smile, hugs me, and asks me how I doing…and means it. Their creative notes in the church mailbox are gifts of love throughout the seasons. Their words of appreciation are like salve for a deep wound of loneliness after time away on the road.
FAITHFULNESS….Prayer in good times and in bad. We have prayer pals who pray for us on a regular basis. Prayer is adoration, confession, thanksgiving and making request of a loving God and Saviour. How good would your spirit feel knowing the comfort and consistency of someone going before God on your behalf?
SERVANT HEARTS…Willing to go the extra mile. Our church family has built houses together, combined the Foodgrains Bank quarter with 20 machines, and pooled resources to help many families in distress. The heart is renewed with hope when it serves someone else in love. Teens at our church serve the seniors, travel to Mexico, and meet regularly to grow stronger. Their hearts are a wonderful encouragement to the parents.
JOY…Laughter is a healing balm to the soul. We experience joy when we share answered prayers as part of our church family news in the service on Sunday mornings. We weep when we listen to the hospital trials that have brought miraculous healing to a women in deep physical pain, who has been released. We celebrate milestone birthdays with tea parties, potlucks, silly gifts, and tons laughter. Joy is here.
PATIENCE…Growth…learning, stretching. The bumper sticker reads “Be patient with me, God isn’t finished with me yet.” We are not perfect, but we are growing, and forgiving one another when we offend, hurt, and just don’t get it. Churches aren’t buildings, they are groups of growing people who practice forgiveness and grace in their lives, because they are a redeemed and thankful group of people.
GENTLENESS… Deep care. A group of women meeting to study the gifts of being a woman spent time to write a note of encouragement to every woman at the table. This note is priceless. It’s a gentle reminder of the deep love and care for one another. This church family attends several different buildings on Sunday mornings, but it doesn’t matter. They all sense a deep thread of concern and care from their sisters in the Lord.
KINDNESS…Loving connection.. God is particularly concerned about the care of the poor, widows, and children. Our church family provides weekly fun and study for young children, teens, and people seeking to grow closer to Jesus. My love language is meaningful touch, and a hug or a squeeze on my shoulder keeps me going . The teens are given a senior’s hand of congratulations for their musical gifts .Those people suffering loss are enveloped in strong arms of loving attention.
CELEBRATION…Singing from my soul is part of my heritage of singing in vesper services as a Canadian Girl in Training, campfires, and college retreats. This week I sang Psalms at the top of my lungs in a motel swimming pool with great ecoustics. It was one of those sacred moments of praising God in deep water, resounding joy as the notes bounced in a cathedral toned space. Easter is the highest celebration of the Christian’s year, and we invite you to join us with thankfulness for the hope of heaven that Easter brings.
PEACE… Safe place to be real, just who you are. When I share stories in front of my church family I usually end up crying. The passion and pain I witness during the week sometimes overwhelms me, and my church family understands. They pray for me, they hug me, and they encourage me to use the gifts God had given me to share with others. My pastor is an awesome leader, and a friend.
I love my church family, and I hope you’ll find one to love you this Easter Come and see that God is good. “…Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John [13:34],35. NIV)
I’ll be watching for you.
Elaine Froese is a Christian catalyst for change. She encourages farm families with her speaking, retreats, CD’s and book.