Sorry folks. Been to Alaska fishing and refreshing myself with rain and cooler temperatures — not much of either of those are found in West Texas this time of year. Of course Alaska was incredible again this year. The whales, puffins, dolphins, and other creatures were spectacular. The ever-changing views in this unbelievably beautiful place were beyond capturing on film. However, it was the two hour communion service with 3 other dear brothers in Christ on Sunday night was the highlight of the trip for me. (Thanks Dan, Bill, and Grant!)
Of all the gifts that God has lavished upon us, the most precious is the gift of community. A family, a church, and a close circle of friends are all precious gifts of God’s grace found in community. No matter how you define the three faces of our Almighty God — Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — the plural nature of the One true and living God, His “us-ness” is what I call it in cornbread English(cf. Genesis 1:26 “Let us make …”), is given to us in genuine community. When it is right, when it is good, when it is glorious, holy community is a touch of heaven and an intended reflection of the glory of the Most High.
I’m back amid the heat, the dry-ness, and the rush of ministry and the start of school. I’m thankful to have had a break for all of that. I can now return with a bit more freshness and a deeper appreciation of the gift of God’s community ‐ something that is so easy to overlook, neglect, abuse, or distort. I am hopeful to keep the freshness I feel and share it with those I love.
The Lord will give me a chance right off the bat with my sermon this Sunday and a funeral on Saturday. I’ll also try to pull out some of my favorite quotes from Bonhoeffer’s Life Together to drop in on the blog in the next day or two so I can keep the community vibe of my heart in tune with God’s grace.
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of community. Help me never to neglect it or underestimate it as a gracious gift from you. In Jesus, who has made all community possible, I offer this thanks. Amen.