Every time we drive by the church building over the past two weeks Hannah has said, “Home!” Which is cute… and might tell me that I am working too much!
But I think that it actually speaks to the dynamic that we find present here at West University Church. We feel at home. Which is a wonderful blessing! When we were looking for jobs back in 2012, one of our guiding statements was “We want to find a place that will love our children like they belong to them.” When we had Hannah, the church embraced her. She loves sitting with new members Maverick and Stephanie; she prefers playing with Brandon H. She has started saying the names of the kids in her Bible class. She runs up and hugs some of the deacons of the congregation and makes faces at the elders. For her, this place is a family.
And that is why we love West U Church… Because it is a family to us. You are our brothers and sisters in Christ. You are our spiritual “parents” and mentors. You provide such love and encouragement to a young preacher and his family. You allow us to change, challenge, grow, mature, fall flat on our faces, make dumb comments, say “I don’t know,” ask silly questions, stick my foot in my mouth, and all sorts of other blessings.
And you guys bring to life Paul’s understanding of ecclesiology…
As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. (Eph. 4:1-3)
As we have studied “Ephesus” for these past few weeks, I have had you in mind as we talk about Paul’s POV.
That doesn’t mean this church is perfect or has no “warts.” We still struggle. We fall short. We have sins and shortcomings. We are, like any church, imperfect. (Sorry to burst anyone’s bubble!) But we are a group of people who love Jesus and are trying to serve him as best as we can.
And we are still growing. I want our church to be like an “Irish family”: there’s always room for one more. May we never feel like we are a closed group with no room for anyone else!
Recently, a visitor asked me where he and his wife should sit so that they “would not be in the way.” He followed it up with “I know that, in most churches, people have their specific spaces where they sit and they don’t like anyone to take them.” I responded that this church isn’t really that way, so sit wherever you want. And it is nice to be inconvenienced sometimes! It means new people are here who don’t know “our ways.” =)
West U, you are “home” for our family, and I am thankful for the blessing you are to us!
I want to leave you with Paul’s words to the Ephesians:
Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (5:1-2)
May you walk in the way of love this week!