It's been a bittersweet week.
Several people, several families in my world have experienced various kinds of trauma, heartache, and crises in the past few days. And because I have the privilege of being linked to these precious folks in lots of different ways, their pain has become my pain. That's the bitter.
The sweet? Because I'm part of a community of believers that is so tightly linked and so faithful to each other through thick and thin, I've had the indescribable blessing of watching the New Testament Church at work. Yes, at times it's been under attack through all this, but its members have functioned in ways that glorify the Father and testify to His grace and compassion.
I speak here in larger terms than just my local church body, although they are certainly a part of the community I'm describing. I'm speaking of a whole circle of believers, friends who worship in a variety of congregations but know that their true identity is found in the Church with a capital "C". Each day these folks lay down their lives for one another in ways large and small and never seem to grow weary in that service. Their ministries to one another come in too many forms and shapes to list here tonight, but each act of love and concern, each link in the chain, blesses my heart beyond measure and inspires me to a greater faithfulness.
Behold, how they love one another....