Talent and Chili and – most of all – LOVE

How good and pleasant it is
    when God’s people live together in unity!

It is like precious oil poured on the head,
    running down on the beard,
running down on Aaron’s beard,
    down on the collar of his robe.
 It is as if the dew of Hermon
    were falling on Mount Zion.
For there the Lord bestows his blessing,
    even life forevermore.

Psalm 133
– after church Sunday morning at HMPC

Sunday after church Rebekah and I hung around for the annual chili cook-off and talent show youth fundraiser. People were invited to be generous in terms of supporting a full summer of youth activities, conferences, and mission trips.

“If you don’t write a big check,” the emcee said, “then they’ll all end up hanging around at your house.”

He was joking, of course. But it was a good reminder that one of the many positive aspects of a vibrant church community is the constant pulse of life generated by the presence of children and teens.

Such life-charged noise from the birth through eighteen demographic was always a key characteristic in churches Rebekah and I served. Back in Brandon, for example, several retired couples drove all the way from Sun City (a “senior community”) every Sunday because they missed young people so much!

In fact, even the pastor’s family from the Sun City congregation attended FPC Brandon because their church – though very active in its own way – had zero young families.

Talent Show:

One of the things I love about church talent shows is how enthusiastically every act is received; the applause less a reflection on the talent and more evidence of the love.

A child playing the cello; a teen on the piano; choir members exchanging their robes for guitars; 5th grade girls dancing; storytelling… and more.

If you have a couple of minutes to watch, this video shows that, in fact, genuine talent runs deep at Hudson Memorial Presbyterian Church.

– Rich and Lindsey Richards

There is nothing much that I’m saying this morning other than, “Look! This is life. This is the church. This is good.”

This is what we need to be talking about, and this where we need to invest our interest. Not the anger and the acrimony and the deception and the polarization and the belligerence and the diatribe of politics, but the joy and the beauty of love and mercy and grace that is practiced in Christian community.

Happy Monday, friends. Life is good – DEREK

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