I am truly blessed by the fellowship meals we share together on the Fifth Sunday evenings here at Legacy. I very much enjoy looking at the faces of my brothers and sisters instead of the backs of their heads. I believe I can see the risen Lord in those faces, don’t you?
I think around those tables in the gym is where we uniquely experience the mercy and grace of God. We share that mercy and grace and acceptance and love in getting somebody a refill on their iced tea, in helping someone clean up a spill, even in saving seats for somebody we particularly want to sit by. We experience mercy and grace and acceptance when we eat together.
This past Sunday night I asked our church family to look closely at the people around all those tables.
“Look at them.” (audible groans)
“These are your brothers and sisters.” (playful rolling of eyes)
“This is your family.” (louder groans)
Look at them. You’re responsible for them. Now take care of them. Love them. Accept them. Nurture them. Encourage them. Be careful with them. Get involved with them. Minister to them. Know them. Tolerate them. Share with them. Laugh and cry with them. Sacrifice for them.
“God gave you these people,” I said. “Now love them.”
We don’t choose the saints. God chooses the saints. God gathers together these men and women. He chooses and blesses and predestines and makes known and lavishes and loves and gathers these people we sit with at church. I like the way Eugene Peterson puts it in his latest book — I’m in the middle of it right now — Practice Resurrection:
These people embarrass us with their haphazardness, exhilarate us with their joy, offend us by their inconsistent lives, comfort us with their compassion, bully and criticize us, encourage and bring out the best in us, bore us with their blandness, stimulate us with their enthusiasm.
But we don’t choose them. God chooses them. We are a family with the people God chooses. His saints.
So, this coming Sunday, look around. These are your people. God gave them to you.
Now love them!
A two-hit shutout last night by Ceej and Feliz. Depending on how Lee does tonight, I’m of the mind now that Wilson might ought to be the starter in Game One against the Twins or the Yankees or the Rays in October. He’s the rock. He’s the stabilizer. He’s the constant. Wow. Cruz picked up right where he left off, too. The magic number is 24…