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
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.