“Changed by Holy Community” – Last Article Submitted for Marion Second Reformed Church’s Newsletter

Posted: April 11, 2008 by Rick Hogaboam in Ecclesiology (Church Stuff)

 

As I write this last Windows article before our departure to Nampa (ID), I look out the window and see a mostly blue sky with scattered clouds. I see the Youth/Education building, quietly sitting, resting before it is filled with life on Sunday afternoon. I have many memories of that building: sleepovers, times of prayer, worship, food, and more. What will forever be remembered in my thoughts as I depart is the meaningful conversation with youth who indicated their desire to live for God’s glory. Many have shared that Sunday nights is a highlight of their week…that being in a loving worshipful community is a most welcome reprieve from the weekly grind.

 

Everything I have put my hands to in the ministry of SRC has been fueled by a conviction that loving “community” means something. Every youth, whether they are a toddler or graduating senior, should find SRC to be a haven full of loving people. I am grateful for the volunteer staffs, who have given more than time…but love and prayers in their ministry to our youth.

 

I once visited an orphanage in Mexico (http://www.colinadeluz.org) and was given a tour by the founder and director of the camp, Jim Drake. It was depressing to say the least to hear how many of the kids ended up in this orphanage. The children had suffered abuse and neglect in many forms. In America, one would take such kids and shuffle them through “specialists” and fill them with various “medications” to solve their fears, anxiety, and depression. Drake said that he was not a professional psychologist or psychiatrist, but that he knew how to love these kids…and love those kids he does. He cited:

1Pe 4:8  Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 

 

He was convinced that loving these children would be a way of cleansing them from the sins committed against them…that love actually had a healing effect upon these children. This moment from years ago continues to echo in my soul from time to time. We may feel inadequate at times; not having the right words, or professional opinions…but we can love. As I look at that text more and more from 1 Peter, I am attracted to the following context:

 

 1Pe 4:8-11  Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.  (9)  Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.  (10)  As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:  (11)  whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies–in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

 

The very command to love presupposes that we are living in community with other people. The passage also talks about hospitality and serving one another. These aren’t just suggestions…God’s glory is at stake. All such things glorify God according to v.11

 

It is my prayer that SRC will continue to exhibit the love of Christ in all things. I want to lastly thank the SRC community for all the love we have received as a family. We are forever changed by the love you have given us and God is glorified in it all!!! Our 3 years here have been but a foretaste of the loving fellowship we will enjoy in Glory, thanks again!!!

 

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