I am just in the door from our monthly Home Bible Studies having had a wonderful time of fellowship. The night was full of laughter, stirring conversation and it was all topped off with tea and pancakes! The night flew by, as it always does, and before I knew it we had to finish our bible study for the night was gone.
As I was driving home I was encouraged to be part of a group Christ has brought together. We are all different, we have different stories, we have different insights into passages and we are all different ages. However, Christ brings us together to discuss His Word and is blessing the groups as they do so.
One of the things I have noticed, which has been a huge benefit, is that friendships are being formed between the different age groups of our congregation. Young and old are having the opportunity to spend time with one another and enjoy new friendships. The conversation and friendships between different generations flows as God’s Word is discussed. Wisdom is being passed on from older generations to younger ones, stories are being shared and in the words of one young man, “someone I may have previously passed in the hall of the church, I now spend time with sharing experiences.”
The more I attend these groups the more I see they are an integral part of our church. They complement our weekly services and prayer meetings because they are bringing a deeper grasp of knowing and experiencing the church as our family! I cannot help feel this “church-family” is what John had in mind when he wrote his 1st letter. In 1 John 2 especially we find John exhorting fathers, young men, brothers, sisters and children. It is a letter full of family terminology which reminds us the church is a place for young and old to fellowship together. In 1 John 3:1, one of the greatest verses in the bible, God reminds us that He has made us part of His family.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! We are the children of God! God the Father is our heavenly Father and Christ is our Brother! (Hebrews 2:11) We have been adopted into His family. (Romans 8:15) The church life is ultimately a reflection and shadow of our heavenly life to come. Believers united together as a family, glorifying God our Father through the Lord Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. The home bible studies have caused me to appreciate the family dynamic of God’s plan for the church in a fresh and exciting way and I pray you are knowing the blessing of these groups as well.
Christmas is usually a time we think of family and friends: I know this year it is not simply my family at home I will think of, but also my church family God has placed me in.
Wishing you a blessed Christmas Your Pastor
Rev Dan Paterson Assistant Minister