Today is my birthday. Thirty-eight years ago today I came into this world, born to set of very nervous, very excited parents. I have had many wonderful experiences in my life as well as many experiences filled with grief and sadness. My life, up to this point, has taught me many things.
For instance, from a young age I was taught about manners and why they are important. I was also taught about responsibility and how that character trait would benefit me throughout my life. My life lessons continued as I was taught about respect and how to give it to all people. However, most importantly, I was taught about God and the importance of cultivating my own personal relationship with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
But there is one aspect that runs through all of those lessons. And that is the need, importance, and benefit of community. The strength that we gain when we live our lives together, is life changing. Those experiences in my life that have been filled with grief, without my community, would have destroyed me. But it was in that community that I found joy again, that I found hope again, that I learned how to laugh again.
God does not wish for us to live this life alone. God did not create us to live this life alone. Time after time, Scripture refers to humanity as parts of a body, each one necessary, each one unique. Jesus himself, lived his life on earth as part of a community. Our very understanding of God, is in the form of the Trinity, God the Father, Jesus the son, and the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we are not only meant to live together, but minister together as well. Each of us using our own special gifts, our own unique talents, working together for God's glory.
This past week I received a birthday card from you, my church family. There were so many signatures and birthday wishes inside! I felt very loved as I read that card and all of your names inside. So from me to you...thank you for allowing me to walk with each of you in ministry. Thank you for thinking of me on this special day. Just...thank you.