On Tuesday night First Baptist and Second Congregational Church (in the north part of town) had a Community Thanksgiving Service. There was a branch placed in a pot. Everyone got a paper leaf that had a piece of yarn looped through it, kind of like an ornament. On this leaf we all wrote what we were thankful for. We shared our thankfulness with one another. I was moved by this sharing time.
Chris and I didn't want to share the same thing, so I wrote that I was thankful for my family (which has grown since last Thanksgiving). Chris wrote about being thankful for our church family. We are both thankful for all our families.
In the last few months I have a much more real sense of what Paul is talking about when he uses the image of family for the church. God has given me great comfort through the book of Romans. Paul writes, "For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, 'Abba, Father.' The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs - heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory" (Romans 8:14-17 NIV). The sharing in Christ's sufferings part shows me that at First Baptist we are indeed a family of God!
Thank God we are in this faith journey together.
So here it is. I've broken a promise. I wrote that I would write a blog every week or two, and it's been about a month. I'm sorry. I can make excuses, like I was on vacation for one of those weeks, or I started one, but I just always got interrupted. These things happen, but they are excuses. It is so easy to get out of a routine.
It's got me thinking about how it's easy to let go of doing things. It's even harder to get back in the habit of doing things. I look back at times in my life where God seemed a little distant. It's only now that I see it wasn't God who was creating the distance. This distance is in direct relation to what I was doing or what I wasn't doing. I don't have life all figured out; however my encouragement is this: spend some time pondering what things you are doing or not doing that help or hinder your relationship with God. Then ask God to help you make any changes you may need to make.
This is written by Kathleen Blackey, follower of Jesus and co-pastor at First Baptist Church.