Family

Matthew 23:8 …ye are all brethren.

This past week the association that my home church belongs to held it’s annual revival. It is a full week of meetings, Monday through Saturday evenings, with business meetings and worship services during the day on Friday and Saturday, culminating on Sunday with Sunday school and a memorial service in the afternoon. At some point most, if not all, of the 37 churches of the association are represented, along with folks visiting from other churches and associations from as far away as Alabama and Missouri. It is a wonderful opportunity to worship and fellowship with folks you don’t see often and ones that you meet for the first time. It is also a great blessing to see how this diverse body comes together as one in the Lord during this time.

I was blessed to attend almost all of the events, missing Saturday evenings service. As I said, the worship, fellowship and the songs of praise were just outstanding. We were truly in one mind and one accord, so much so that each night the choir, which was never made up of the same folks, sounded like a group that sang together regularly for years. The Spirit of God flowed through out the week in all aspects of the meetings.

As enjoyable as this week was, I have to tell you I’m looking so very forward to Wednesday night this week. You see, due to the weeks meeting and other church events prior to that we’ve not met in our home church in about two weeks. And though I greatly enjoyed the fellowship of the brothers and sisters from the other churches, I miss my “family” at Gethsemane something terrible. It’s so sweet to have brothers and sisters in Christ that you (I) feel are truly family. Though I love all the brethren, that little group of Christians that makes up the Body of Gethsemane United Baptist Church holds an extra dear spot in my heart. I hope and pray that each of you are as blessed with a home church and “family” as I am. And I thank my God for each of them and for planting among them.

Is It Such a Small Thing?

A watercolor painting of a camp meeting circa ...
Image via Wikipedia

On Sunday I offered to drive an older fellow to the camp meeting this week if he wanted to go; he is 89 and doesn’t drive after dark anymore.  He accepted my offer and Monday evening I picked him up and took him to the meeting.  When he realized that I lived above him, so it was a little bit out of my way to pick him up, he was upset that he had run me out of the way.  It was an extensive conversation to make him realize that if I didn’t want to do this, I wouldn’t have offered to in the first place.

Tuesday he called another church member for a ride, saying, again, he didn’t want to run me out of the way.  The fellow called and told me about the conversation, knowing that I was planning on picking him up, and I said I’d still go get him.  When I showed up the old guy was a little miffed at the other fellow for calling me.  It took some time trying to explain to him that it really wasn’t out of my way to get him and that I offered, he didn’t ask.

Even after all this, he was still concerned that I was “being put out”.  Finally I told him, “You appreciate someone taking the time to bring you the meetings and back home.  I, being physically limited, am not able to do a lot for other folks.  Driving 3 miles to pick up a brother who otherwise would not be able to get to the meeting was something I could do.  And it was a pleasure for me to be able to do this service, seeing how I can’t do much else to help out most of the time.”  I believe that it dawned on him then; to me it was a service that I was glad to be able to do, not a chore.

Although it was a little thing, driving down the road a couple of miles to pick him up, it was really a very big thing for us both: He got to go to a couple of meetings that he otherwise might not have and I got to serve a brother, a rare opportunity for me, in a way that I could be useful.  And in the end we both had a tremendous time I think.  On the ride there and back we got to rehash the high points of the services from Sunday through Tuesday, as well as chat about many other things.  And after getting back to his home both evening he invited me in for a visit.  Both nights I was blessed to visit, looking through old photos and talking about the Bible and many, many other things, for several hours.  In fact, I missed the meeting tonight because I am so tired; I stayed out so late with him I got my medications out of whack and was up all night last night with those neuropathic pains, though the time I spent with him was well worth a sleepless night.  I do wish I’d have been able to make it to the meeting though.  Incidentally, I reckon he was too tired to go tonight, too, as I didn’t hear from him.  If he’d have called, tired, achy and all, I’d have made it out to get him and to the meeting.  But he didn’t.  And I truly do need the rest; I’m not used to being out until 1am, visiting with an 89-year young brother!

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