This post is part of “30 days of Giving Thanks” To read more within this series, click here.
It was a small insignificant building in a small insignificant coastal town. The streets rolled up at 9 pm along with the gas station. As I stood outside on that breezy August afternoon, I noted with immense pleasure that I could see the ocean from where I stood. Inside the four walls were Christians I had never met before. I was full to bursting with mingled anticipation and trepidation.
My parents and I walked in and were greeted in no time by the preacher, the elders and various members. Within the space of 10 minutes we were invited to dinner, offered a place to stay and—since I would be carless—arrangements made for a ride to worship and bible classes. It was a small group, but large in love, hospitality and godliness. I spent the better part of five years with them. They were my family away from family. I essentially gained grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, sisters and brothers. That building is gone, but the church remains. They relocated to a larger building so they could grow. Even today, I like to go back with my young family and see them.
The church is a great blessing. The ties I have to my Christian family run deep. Having lived all over the state, I’ve had the opportunity to worship in many places with many brothers and sisters in Christ. I’ve never worshipped and failed to connect with a brother or sister with whom I’ve shared a common faith. It’s a beautiful thing.
We are connected through Christ.
We learn to love those who are difficult to love. We learn how to settle disagreements. We encourage each other to press on. We learn from the examples of the elderly and teach the young the way of the Lord.
I am thankful for the church and all the lovely Christians I am privileged to know!