I have a confession. I just love people! I love getting to know people. I love seeing people mingle. I love watching people. I love hearing voices chattering and people laughing. I love spending time with people and around people. This brings me to my confession: I love spending time with each of you!
I’ve shared before the statement I heard from the Former ANE District Executive, Craig Smith, when he was speaking on one of the hardest Sundays we’ve ever had at my former congregation: “People like to go to church, where people like to go to church.” I come to church on Sundays, and I get the joy and honor of seeing each of you! I am happy to see your faces, hear your voices, catch up on life (even if it is ever-so-briefly), and to know you are well. I love to see Jesus, every Sunday, and each time we gather in the faces of each of you. I see Jesus in the way we encourage each other, listen to each other, care about each other, appreciate each other, and share our true selves as we gather as the Body of Christ. I see the blessing of this community of faith being together, and I am honored to see our expression of Jesus within the community of Oaks, PA. We are an offering to the Lord as we are part of His Presence in our world today, as the Body of Christ.
Is it better for us to get to know each person and encourage each other in-person, rather than only
online? I think so! I do love the opportunity we have to share Jesus in our online presence, but I
have to tell you… I really find no good substitute for the in-person gathering.
So… I encourage you to invite someone to church. Introduce them to your faith family and let us tell them how glad we are to meet them and see them. In the time we are with them, we will honor them by looking them in the eye, offering them a smile and an openness in this community of faith.
So many people are lonely. Summer comes and many more people are out and about in the warm
days, yet there is still a longing for connection. I read an article published by PBS earlier this year that reported around 60 percent of people in the U.S. report that they feel lonely on a regular basis. This loneliness has an impact on public health. In fact, this article went on to say that “loneliness might be as big of a public health threat (compared to the epidemic) in terms of the effect that it has on our bodies and our minds.” There was a lot more that this article shared that is quite interesting, so feel free to check it out for yourself (you can find the article on the pbs.org website. Title of report, “Why Americans are lonelier and its effects on our health”, published January 8, 2023).
The warmth of the love and community of God and His people may have some imitators, but it is my opinion that there is truly no substitute for what the Body of Christ can be, together. The love and community of God and His people is worth experiencing!
So… invite someone to church. Invite them to community. Invite them to meet your family of faith! Invite them! I’d sure love to meet them!