It was a wonderful three years and I have missed it. In some ways. I miss the people and the personal aspects of being a pastor under appointment. The people of the church - each individually - became a part of my extended family and it was a deep personal loss when we
were not part of their family.
I was asked to go back there last Sunday to share a Communion service and it was really wonderful tom get back if even for one day. For a couple of weeks before I worked hard to
develop a message that would be meaningful. I finally came up with one that I titled "All In
the Family" but it was not oriented toward the Archie Bunker TV series. Instead, I borrowed from Bill Gaither music - a song called "The Family of God" It goes (in part) like this:
"You will notice we say 'brothers and sisters' round here
It's because we're a family and these are so near;
When one has a heartache, we all share the tears,
And rejoice in each victory, in this family so dear."
We walked into the church last Sunday morning a little early and it felt like 'Old Home' week. It didn't take long for the choir director to ask if I'd sing with them like in the old days. "Sure," I said and I wandered back to where they practiced - and what do you know -- they were singing................"The Family of God." "Oops," I said, "You guys just took care of my sermon for the morning!" They said, they could sing something else but I said, "No, I think this will fit in just great."
I think the amazing part was that both of us were thinking of the same thing at the same time. I'd like to think that God was in control that Sunday morning - that we all were focused on the same thing. That we're part of God's family - and it's wonderful.
"I'm so glad I'm a part of the Family of God
Washed in the fountain, cleansed by his blood,
Joint heirs with Jesus, as we travel this sod
for we're all part of the family - The Family of God"