|Good Morning Everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “You are loved”
Our Bible verse for today: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “A place to heal”
As I write this it is Friday morning. On Friday’s my thoughts always turn to Sunday. Sunday is the best day of the week because it’s the day the church family gathers. One of the reasons I love it when the church family is together is because, as I’ve mentioned numerous times now in this devotional series, it’s when the church is gathered that the love of God is experienced most and best. God loves us through each other. The other day in my reading I came across a great description of church life that came from pastor and author Chuck Swindoll:
“Churches need to be less like national shrines and more like local bars … less like untouchable cathedrals and more like well-used hospitals, places to bleed in rather than monuments to look at … places where you can take your mask off and let your hair down … places where you can have your wounds dressed … it’s okay if they look like churches on the outside, just so folks don’t act churchy on the inside.”
I smiled when I read that because it sounds so much like our church life at Oak Hill Baptist. We’re not like a local bar to the extent of hanging out in the Fellowship Hall drinking beer and sipping wine, but we are like a bar in that we are relaxed and social, with lots of laughing, a bit of crying, and people freely and comfortably sharing their joys and sorrows. We care about what’s going on in each other’s lives, we help where we can help, and the rest of the time we empathically listen. And yes, it does look like a church on the outside, but the people inside are not real “churchy” – there’s not a lot of stained-glass prayers or superficial Christian cliches or modern-day Pharisees. You can come bleeding, have your wounds treated, and take some time to heal.
In 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Paul described Christians who have themselves been wounded and healed, and who now use their own experiences as the basis from which they understand, commiserate with, and minister to others who are experiencing similar things. That’s what church life should be like. It is a deep and rich and glorious expression of the Father’s love for us. I encourage you not to miss it. Your church is a gift from God, and there you will experience His great love for you.
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