Last week I was able to spend some time with my parents in Ohio, and my in-laws in Kentucky. It was great to visit with each of them, to hear about their joys and challenges, to help them with some simple projects, and to get caught up on family.
Sandwiched in between the visits, I attended a conference where I was able to learn, connect with some longtime friends, meet new friends, and hear about updates in the world—the good, the bad, and the ugly. And between each of these events, I got to spend a lot of time in the car.
I don’t mind driving. During this time in the car, I connected with several family members on the phone, heard about their joys and their woes, and shared some of mine as well. And, during quiet time while driving in the rain, I single-handedly solved many problems of the world. So, if you see improvement in U.S. politics, global markets, geopolitical tensions, or global warming…you’re welcome. But, given the choice of alone time in the car or hanging out with family and friends, I’ll always choose the latter.
Time together affords us the opportunity to connect with family and long-time friends. And the upcoming holidays are perfect times to do just that. Sometimes we just need a little intentionality to make it happen.
So, I might suggest inviting some friends or family over to hand out candy on Halloween. Gather in the driveway, the cul-de-sac, or the apartment parking lot to enjoy the evening weather, the cute costumes, and each other’s company.
On Thanksgiving, invite someone you haven’t connected with in a while to join you at your home or a restaurant, to give thanks, and to celebrate the gifts with which God has blessed us.
During Christmas, celebrate the joy of Jesus’ birth by inviting someone to your home for a small gathering. Many people are alone on this day. You might bring a little light to their darkness.
You see, we are called to be in community. Jesus never called us to be a Church of one. He called us to be together, to love and support one another. The approaching holidays are a perfect time to show the love of Christ to others who may especially need the love of a Christian brother or sister.
“When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:12-14)
And you know what? When we gather, it’s so easy to talk about Church and about our faith. It happened when I visited Mom and Dad. It happened when I visited Sherry’s parents. I
t even happened on numerous occasions while I was at a conference (which wasn’t even church related!), once while at dinner with a Catholic, a non-church person, a Presbyterian, 2 Mormons, and a Lutheran.
God created us to be in community. Let’s find ways to make it happen!
Together in Christ,