In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:37-39
My initial impulse this morning was to write my annual “Happy Birthday to Me” column. I was thinking about recording a cover of the Beatles’ When I’m Sixty-four; however – and thankfully for your sensitive ears – I’m redirecting.
Signs of hope, evidences of authentic life:
What I’m most interested in is all the “signs of hope” that keep surfacing in these difficult times, and one really good story comes from yesterday’s Wednesday evening men’s group.
The meeting played out – essentially – as a miracle, with fourteen participants signing in for an online gathering using “Zoom” software. The remarkable part of this was the patience. We met for 90-minutes and I made sure everyone spoke/shared at least three times, but that means a lot of time staring at a screen for guys who had already (many of them) spent much of the day doing exactly the same thing for work.
So this, from me directly to the guys, is a heartfelt “thankyou” for your generosity, your care for one another, your willingness to engage, your patience with me and my tech-challenges, and your commitment to the idea of community.
And, you’ve guessed it, this idea of commitment to community is my go-to point for today’s post. These men – plus the men I meet with Saturday mornings, and the Adult-education class I lead Sunday mornings – are all being intentional in terms of their connectedness. Not just hanging out, but being purposeful in terms of being the Body of Christ and loving one another.
Not just together, but called together:
The future is certainly fraught with uncertainty when it comes to health and financial stability. But we will do everything in our power to maintain the connections between us, because we are a community both called together and defined by our relationship to God through Jesus.
This is exactly what we were created for. Nothing can separate us from the love of God…. and nothing can come between us as brothers and sisters called together by – and in – that love.
In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So today I am sixty-four “Will you still need me? Will you still feed me?” Well I know this much, I still need you; fact is we need each other. And this community absolutely does feed me.
That’s me: well loved and well fed. Who could possibly ask for more? – DEREK
First of all “Happy Birthday” and a big THANK YOU” for bringing together the talents of others to enable us to have our 1st Virtual Meeting. It just underlines how important “community” is to all of us. In these trying times, it helps me when I remember that God’s Grace is gifted to us and that Love, Pease, Joy, and HOPE are in our hearts. With this inner calmness, let us continue to share his love with those around us.
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Thanks so much, Wayne! That’s a wonderful affirmation. I value your presence and your thoughts so much – Derek
You turn 64 and you turned on the large font!!! Happy birthday! You use as big of a font as you want to. Jim and I enjoy your blogs so much, and sometimes it gives us pictures that are important to us, like Kareem’s baptism. We would not have had any pictures of without you. I thank God every day for bringing you and Rebekah in our lives. We are better Christians because of your blogs and her sermons. You both give us the direction we need to make us better people in God’s eyes. Once again, Happy Birthday!!
Thanks, Dana. We appreciate the witness to hope and love that you guys both bring.
That’s funny about the font. I simply changed templates and didn’t know how it would look! I’m still experimenting, so it may well change agains soon.
Peace and love – Derek
Great virtual meeting everyone! Remind me next meeting to give the example of truth and fact and how it is molded to fit a particular point of faith.