“Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. For assuredly, He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus….”
I truly cannot believe it is already December and time to decorate the house for Christmas! We had to rearrange some furniture to make room for the tree and many nativity scenes I have collected over the years. One morning my advent devotion was about letting every heart prepare HIM room. It was a great reminder that many times our hearts are so cluttered that we don’t have room for Jesus at one of the most precious times of the year. Just like I had to rearrange my home a bit, I evaluated my heart and asked The Lord to de-clutter my soul and be sure He is more than welcome to every part of my life.
We don’t buy a real tree anymore because I think I’m allergic or something, so we do go but a wreath at a local nursery.
We have already made a batch of cut out sugar cookies. The kids always love that. It always makes me think of The Koester family. Mary was always so patient with all the kids while we did this at her house.
And lest I forget, Molly had her fourth and very successful babysitting job. This little boy was happy to be playing and would let her know if he was being smothered. I continue to remind Molly that her main goal is for happy and safe babies! She gets perturbed when all they want to do is follow Mack around or laugh at him. She wants a newborn to hold and feed and hold some more. She is sweet.
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! May every heart prepare Him room. He is so worthy.
We had a great time with family this weekend in Augusta. We enjoyed hanging out with cousins, eating, sitting by the fire, going to The Nutcracker at the Imperial Theatre, going on golf cart rides, and more! My mom roasted a turkey as opposed to having my dad fry it, and we were all pleasantly surprised at how delicious it was.
Sweetie had the kids write in Sharpie on a cloth napkin what they are thankful for…and we can have them add to it every year. Ruby said she is thankful for the Bible. Molly said she is thankful for cousins, and Mack said he is thankful for Sweetie and Pawpaw. Not sure if he was fishing for an extra Christmas gift or not, but it sure was sweet.
The word “fellowship” takes me back to Bayvale Baptist Church, circa 1985. In my mind I can be in that church fellowship hall standing in line for dinner. My Meme and many of her friends were in the fellowship hall kitchen keeping all the food coming out to the tables where all good Baptists would fill their plates and have a “fellowship.”
Or would they?
Even this evening our Sunday School Class will be gathering at someone’s home for a good old fashioned bonfire—chili cookoff and s’mores galore! Now THAT is going to be a fun fellowship.
Or will it?
I John 1:3 says, “what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.”
Fellowship. It can strike some as an old-fashioned word. It means “a class get- together” to others. Some interchange it with how connected they feel with other people. In the context of Sunday School (which is just the title for groups of people who get together and study God’s Word together on Sunday), it seems to also be tied to unity and friendships. If someone feels connected and welcomed, then they have fellowship with others in the class…or so they think.
But this week I ran across an explanation by G. Campbell Morgan that intrigued me and has been rolling around in my head all week long. He writes that I John 1:3 is one of the greatest of all statements in the New Testament. He also took me back to Acts as he explained the definition of the word “fellowship.”
“The Greek word ‘koinonia’ is derived from the word ‘koinos,’ which very literally means common, in the sense of being shared
by all. The use of that word koinos, or common, in our New Testament, which will help us most in this consideration, is that
made of it by Luke when he declared that ‘All that believed were together, and had all things common’ (Acts 2:44). Fellowship
then is that community of relationship which expresses itself in community or resource and responsibility. Those who have a
fellowship one with another are those who share the same resources, and are bound by the same responsibilities.”
Oh! So it really isn’t about how fun class parties are or how warm and welcoming others are to ME on Sunday or how I feel about how I fit in a group of people or what they do that fits in with MY priorities, per se. There truly is much more to fellowship, and yet it is so simple.
Do I share resources with these people?
Do I share responsibilities with these people?
If yes, then I have fellowship with them.
And to add a whole ‘nother level of amazingness…..look back at I John 1:3. We can have fellowship with the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Now how is that?
G. Campbell says it so well, “The Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and all believers have all things in common. All the resources of each in the wondrous relationship are at the disposal of the others. Such is the grace of our God, and of His Son.” God chooses to let me share the responsibility of sharing the Good News of Jesus with others. He also gives me all of His Spirit to provide all I need to do just that. Amazing.
I’m so thankful that because of Jesus’ love poured out for me on the Cross, I can have fellowship with the Father and with Jesus. Then, He has chosen to plant me here in Woodstock, GA where I am a part of the body of Christ at a church called First Baptist Woodstock. Through sharing resources and responsibilities, we work to make much of Jesus Christ in many different ways. On an even smaller scale, Josh teaches a group of Young Adults the Bible each week. We share common resources. We share responsibilities. We have fellowship.
It’s really not about you at all.
Sometimes I explain a concept until I’m blue in the face; when I don’t think I can take anymore, I call in Ruby. She seems to get through to Mack when I just can’t.
Then, I checked Molly’s math sheet, which ended up being her math sheet from several days ago. She tried to trick me into thinking she did that sheet today when, actually, she hadn’t done any math today.
“Molly,” I calmly said, “do you remember our Bible reading this morning?”
“Ummmm, was it on patience?” she cleverly asked.
“No, it wasn’t on patience, though I’m choosing to exercise some right now. It was about Jacob, THE DECEIVER. You are trying to deceive me, Molly.”
Long silence ensued.
Then, I showed her quite a few more math sheets that she WOULD do.
Then, Ruby comes in to tell me that she is so disappointed about not getting to do something this evening that she was planning on doing and that “it was the only thing keeping me going today.”
Wow. That’s quite the disappointed child.
I’m a little on edge because for some reason I thought it a good idea to paint my dining room table and chairs and consider painting the walls…
I only need an electric sander, glaze, another quart of paint for the chairs, spray Rustoleum, primer, the right color paint for my dining room (which I haven’t found yet), paint tape, rollers……ugh.
We may have had a little trial run on camping last night. And when I say “we,” I definitely don’t mean me.
Mack even got his bear ready.
I actually didn’t sleep great even in this warm house and my comfy bed because I wanted to be ready if anyone or all came back in the house to sleep….so it felt like I slept with one eye open. I did make a contribution to the whole effort though–I made breakfast bright and early for the campers.
Here they are coming in this morning.
Josh was out there, but he couldn’t fit in the kid’s tent…if he grants permission, I’ll post a picture of his homemade tent.
Mack got back in bed for an hour and a half before we had to drive the girls to church. He wasn’t happy about having to wake up. I’m sure it’s going to be a long day for all of us!
Oh, this is just a very small look at how, as a family (and when I say family I mean the people who live with me in this house and not my own self), we are failing in the concept of “a place for everything and everything in its place.”
There could have been plenty more pictures I could show you if I felt like walking upstairs, but I’ll just leave it at this. And I’ll go see if we can take a few minutes and get some of these things back to their home.
And I know one day, supposedly, I’m going to miss finding these little things in all the wrong places….we will just have to wait and see.
I’m kidding. I am sure that is true.