Sunday, April 29, 2012

Greeting couples

3:28 p.m. Today's project was a rather different one for a Sunday. We heard a sermon from Pastor John on responsibilities of pastors, elders and leaders to look after the Lord's flock from I Peter 5:1-5.  Verse 2 is key:

Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers...

Not coincidentally, I had left the sanctuary during worship to go after a close friend whose exit with sunglasses on looked suspect, and when I got to the ladies' room, she was just weeping her eyes out, under attack from the enemy. We hugged tightly, and the Lord gave me the privilege of praying and offering  His words of comfort to her. We are both looking forward to the start of our summer home Bible study, and we will visit this week as well. I Peter 5:8 warns us,

Be sober; be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

Well, he'll  not devour my sister--no way!! And that's why we care for one another and step into spiritual warfare in the name of Jesus at times when another is too weak to battle for themselves!
Often we think of the Church as a building, like that Christmas cookie pictured above! But the church is Christ's Body--His hands and feet of service to one another.

This turned out to be a busy Sunday.

Upon reflecting on our passage from I Peter, I decided it was time to make a serious search for a widow from my Tuesday morning Bible study discussion group who has been absent from the sessions and has not returned my phone calls. I knew she'd had a dental appointment on one of the Tuesdays, but hadn't seen her since. Not returning my calls is odd, because she is lonely at home and loves to chat. She attends the same service we do, so I took Steve out to the entrance area (or front patio) and we stationed ourselves alongside the west set of doors to keep a lookout for Rita. At the opposite door were the pastor and his wife Robin, greeting members and visitors as they do on Sundays after every service.

It struck me as Steve and I stood there, that we too had a steady stream of hugs and greetings from friends and well-wishers knowledgeable about Steve's illness, but also with a word of encouragement or just funny remarks for me as well. One friend Bonnie, who along with her husband Steve gave us our yellow Labrador retrievers, told me a hilarious story on herself. Almost four years ago, I sold her a Satin Hands treatment set, but she had lost the bag it came in. She just found it yesterday, and is loving the hand treatment and the facial products too. Her sidekick Nacy said, "If you have something to make me look 20, I'll pay any price!" After enjoying our laughs, Nancy introduced me to a young mom and her darling, dainty infant daughter, generating a big smile from Steve, too.

Not seeing Rita anywhere, I took Steve to the Jeep, let the windows down, got out my study group roster, and wrote out her contact information. I handed the sheet to Pastor Mike McTigue, and he said, very firmly, "I know exactly who she is, and we'll get hold of her! We'll take care of this!"

I love being a member of the Body of Christ, looking out for others, and knowing that they will look out for me when my time of need comes!

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