I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:34-35
There are many ways our faith community at WFPC nurtures us. Worship together is always inspirational and encouraging; meeting with small discipleship groups feeds my soul; the amazing Walk Through Bethlehem experience is a great example of reaching out into the community; then there are the more personal ways we are constantly touched by the generous and loving hearts of so many people.
Rebekah’s long and difficult recovery has prompted a huge variety of responses – everything from hospital visits, to delivering a life-saving electric recliner, to flowers, to writing encouragement cards, to cooking meals, to all kinds of soup, to prayer, and much more.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the driveway project the Stumbling Disciples class made possible (I Get By With a Little Help from my Friends). Well Saturday – and resourced by the ever generous spirit of the inestimable Larry – ten members of the Daily Walk Sunday morning class spent several hours working hard on a number of projects, both our garden and at my parents’ next door.
It was an epic demonstration of love and care. I can’t even begin to itemized the long list of difficult tasks our friends performed. But I can say this: before yesterday’s epic workday I was completely “underwater” with respect to the two gardens; I had no idea where to begin; I was overwhelmed… .. but – because of my friends – today I feel we’re well positioned to stay on top of things.
This is what it means to be part of a real, nurturing, sustaining community. To say that we are blessed would be just scratching the surface. Three years ago these wonderful people called Rebekah to be their pastor – and now they’re being ours. “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).
Three years ago these wonderful people called Rebekah to be their pastor – and now they’re being ours.
Worshiping together is – of course – central to our identity as a Christian church, but it’s the way we live faith out loud, our practice of following Jesus from day to day, our creative exploration of what it means to follow Jesus from Monday through Saturday, that marks us as disciples rather than simply members of an organization called a Presbyterian church.
I can’t wait to see how God continues to work healing, and grace, and restoration – in our lives as individuals and as a faith community – through this beautiful Christmas season, and into the New Year.
– In love, and because of love – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.