Last evening we did our church Thanksgiving meal. We did carry-in (or potluck, as we called it back in Indiana) and the food was great! The fellowship was better!
I was thankful for both the food and the fellowship. I was thankful for the freedom that we had to gather and enjoy an evening together. Eating is fun and eating together with people you love is even more fun!
As I came across this verse in I Corinthians I realized why being together is so good. It is more that just delicious food and it goes beyond awesome fellowship. It is even more than the joy of serving together and serving one another.
Here's what it is, it is the grace of God that is resident and active in each of us. What we love about one another is more than just each other, as wonderful as our people are, it is God in us!
When I talk about church health. That is what I am talking about. When I talk about church growth, that is what I am talking about. Church health is about each of us receiving the grace He has for us through Christ Jesus. Church growth is about each of us allowing His gift of grace change us and develop His character within us. His grace that is sufficient for each of us strengthens all of us! A church is only as strong as its ability to receive His grace and recognize it in one another.
A healthy church is a grace place. A growing church is, too!
If you are thankful for the grace of God, you should be thankful for that grace that is expressed through your brothers and sisters in your church fellowship. He graces us. We grace one another. Together we grace our world to demonstrate His grace in a world of dis-grace.
Last evening as we gathered around the tables ladened with food, we stopped to say grace. But after we said grace we showed it - and celebrated it!
"I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus."