By Karla Duerson:
A theme emerges as of late and I am compelled to write a note of it to you all—my church family. Here are the threads:
–At a party with a conversation about acceptance and being liked…
–A gathering around the Advent wreath reading these words by Ann Voscamp sparked by Ruth and Naomi’s relationship, “When God is our God, we take His people as our people, and we take a vow of forever love and loyalty…”
–English Grammar instruction with Guy discussing “The Quarrel” in which body parts cease their work after fighting over whose function was more important
I have experienced personal conviction at each of these moments. At the party, I remembered how much I love and need Christ’s acceptance of me. By candlelight, I tasted the sweetness of relationship that’s available to God’s children from one another. Down in the basement, beside my son, I sensed the danger to unity and my own complaints and ingratitude about the work I get to do for my God and His people. “[The body] got thinner and weaker and more and more bored.”
In all of this, I want to say: I have been accepted by Christ (amazingly enough because I am a terrible sinner) and even liked by Him (even more amazing). He has committed Himself to me and to you for an eternity! I gladly commit to you also, my brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, because of our Savior and because I like you too! I thank Him for the work He’s given me to do and thank each you for doing yours. I see that our body is strong, healthy and even happy because of His power and grace. “So the parts of the body agreed to help each other, rather than quarrelling o who worked the hardest. Soon the body was strong, and healthy again—and the legs, feet, hands, mouth, and eyes were happy once more.”
Your comments about the body put me in mind of this poem that I shared with the family at thanksgiving. It is titled “A Thanksgiving and Prayer for the Nation”, but it applies equally well to family, both natural and spiritual.
O Lord, the children of my people are Thy peculiar treasures,
Make them mine, O God, even while I have them,
My lovely companions, like Eve in Eden!
So much my treasure that all other wealth is without them
But dross and poverty.
Do they not adorn and beautify the World,
And gratify my Soul which hateth Solitude?
Thou, Lord, hast made Thy servant a sociable creature,
For which I praise Thy name;