He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets,with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. – Ephesians 2:17-20
Little by little it’s been getting quieter at Maul-Hall. The great influx of people thinned out – a few here, a few there – until Andrew flew off to New England this morning.
Rather than knuckling down to some serious work, I’m thinking about how blessed we are to have enjoyed family over the past few weeks, and how we pay that sense of blessing forward by living – day to day – grateful lives.
Part of that is pausing to celebrate my dad’s 89th birthday, today. David Maul was born in London, in 1928, and the story of his life has been one of unselfish love, a generous heart, deep commitment to family, and an unwavering, genuine faith.
Just before I took Andrew to the airport we grabbed a three generations of Maul men photo. Those moments are priceless.
This past Sunday afternoon it was the next generation, with David and Beks enjoying a few precious hours here with the big crowd, slipping outside to water flowers with Grandmama. There is a deep-rooted connection with and in family it’s impossible to fully comprehend, and it goes far deeper than anything we can begin to explain.
Interestingly, I see it in The Church, too, when we go about the business of being the Body of Christ correctly. What connects us, what creates unfathomable depths of love and commitment, is the fact that we are – because of Jesus – not just friends but brothers and sisters.
This is why God is so deeply grieved when we split, schism, leave the church because we’re mad about something, point fingers in judgment, and – laughably – declare that we are more Christian or better believers or more legitimate children of God than other disciples.
Good grief! We’re all sinners in need of a Savior, and if you claim God’s grace and mercy then we are members of the same family.
That’s why I enjoyed Tuesday’s Presbytery meeting so much, and Sunday’s worship with WFPC. We’re telling the truth about the good news of the Gospel of Jesus, simply by being, and we’re telling the world about how much this love can transform every one of us… if only we will come home.
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.