I am exhausted. Dead dog tired. My back hurts, my feet hurt, my legs hurt, my head hurts. I have absolutely poured sweat today, seasoned fish for the first time in my life, run around in the pouring rain, and have eaten zucchini pie.
It’s been a great day.
Today we had a picnic with our sister church, Rising Sun Baptist Church. Our church, Seaford Baptist, was invited by Rising Sun Baptist to join them in their annual church picnic. Last spring, I was asked to join two other friends from my church to join their committee to help plan this event.
I love my church. And I love the people of Rising Sun. And I love it when our churches come together.
But, I will admit that when I think of picnic, I picture a 2 hour event, 3 hours tops. Eat some hot dogs, some hamburgers, some delicious desserts and go home. How hard could that be?
Well, friends, what I found out during our first planning meeting was that Rising Sun does not have an annual church picnic. They have an annual church PICNIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Set up starts at 8:00 am. Picnic starts at noon and goes to 6pm. And, this isn’t just hamburgers and hotdogs. No, we are talking that plus chicken, crabs, fish, wings, and more sides and desserts then you can even begin to fathom. Plus an amazing D.J., music, tug-of-war (be sure to check out the video above!), Bounce Houses, give-aways, decorations, games, face-painting, kettle corn, and I seriously can’t think of all the rest of the list at the moment.
It’s been a great day.
Sure, it was hot and sticky, then wet and rainy. But who cares?
Because we were with family.
At one point, I paused long enough to take in what was going on around me, and I was amazed. I shouldn’t be, though. Because what I was observing was family. It was brothers and sisters, in Christ, working together, playing together, laughing together, and doing life together.
It was Romans 12:5, put into action: So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
One body. In Christ. Brothers. Sisters. Family
I saw this clearly worked out my own, little family’s life this week, up close. My oldest son has wanted to enlist in the Navy after high school from the moment he joined JROTC his freshman year. After 4 years of this dream, it became a reality for him yesterday, when he traveled to Fort Lee, VA and was processed into the military.
When we first started down this road seriously, it was a bumpy ride. Not knowing anything about the process or what was involved, I was of absolutely no help to my boy. I drove him one day after school to the recruiter’s office. Tim was so nervous. He wore his JROTC uniform and was a wreck. And it wasn’t a pleasant experience. In fact, it was downright discouraging.
I was at a loss as to how to help my son achieve his dream and goal.
In stepped a Navy Master Sergeant from our church family. This man not only advised us on what to do, he got involved, walking Tim through every step of the process. We learned so much from him that we would have never known. And, after Tim scored extremely well on his ASVAB test at school, this MSgt. accompanied Tim back to the recruiter’s office. When we ran into a medical bump alone the way, he explained the reason behind it and encouraged Tim to keep going. Once Tim was medically cleared and his date for processing was set, this gentleman took an entire day off of work, drove up to Richmond to the processing center early in the morning and patiently waited for Tim. I couldn’t be there because of work; but I wouldn’t have been any use to Tim any way. Tim’s mentor was able to advise Tim throughout the job assigning stage, he was able to ask questions that I wouldn’t have even known to ask, and he was able to see Tim all the way through to his ceremonial swearing-in.
And, he has assured Tim that he will follow-up with the recruiter to make sure things keep moving forward. He helped my boy achieve his dream–his calling.
That, my friends, is what church family does. When there is a need that can be met, they step up to the plate. When there is someone hurting, they are cared for. When there is something to rejoice over, they join in that rejoicing.
And when there is good food to eat, they do that together, too.
Seaford Baptist has been family to my family. Rising Sun Baptist Church has been family to my family. Zion United Methodist Church has been family to my family (we live in their parsonage). And Yorkminster Presbyterian Church has been family to my family. And other churches, too. And I pray that I and my crew have been family to them as well.
And Christ has been the foundation of it all.
And not just the foundation, but the cornerstone.
Ephesians 2:19-20: So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
The whole structure….being joined together….growing into a holy temple in the Lord. A dwelling place for God.
That is family.
Together We Point to Christ.