We shared food and fellowship this evening with some neighbors whose acquaintance we have only recently gained. It was a warm and sweet night to feast upon barbecued chicken, potato salad, baked beans, and other “fixins” that were followed by fresh-baked apple pie.
A sweaty glass of iced tea kept my internal temperature quite comfortable, even as I sat in a pearl-snap cotton shirt and denim jeans.
Candace had struck up a familiarity with the young woman while walking our older children home from school and, between the two of them, arranged tonight’s engagement.
This couple is within a few years of age to my wife and I. In fact, the husband and I went to school together just a few grades apart but, admittedly, we did not move in the same circles. They have a precious little daughter who is between Israel and Sophia in age, and a son between Sophia and Liam in age. Sweet darlings they are.
While they profess far more than a nominal faith, they are without a current church home due to a rather untoward scandal at their previous local assembly. It was at one of the more insular churches of our fair village, large in number but rather closed-off to those that are not within the extended reach of the prominent names.
I empathized with the evident pain it has caused them and offered a sincere invitation to my current assembly, but a deep anger is also provoked silently within the dark corridors of my conscience. I consider whether I should (formally or informally) address the matter with some of that church’s leaders with whom I am familiar
These dear ones are without many of the advantages that others consider rudimentary, yet they manifest a stalwart faith that shows little of the wear they have received. Such as these are truly the “ornaments” of the Church.
One of our “prime directives” in the last few years has been fostering a strong sense of community, wherever we go, and to develop relationships especially with those within our immediate vicinity… not merely for its own sake, but as a consequent to our evolving understanding of the Great Commission and the example provided us by our Messiah.
I believe the lives of His people can often be a powerful introduction to the Gospel before a watching world.
Ah, but It is my hope to be a servant to these dear Souls; to be a trusted guide, teacher, and friend… and to not fail them as others, who lay claim to His name, have thus far.
For the Glory of GOD alone, He that is daily adding to the Church.