June 11, 2011

knit together

I used to have this Sunday School teacher who made us sing I Come To The Garden Alone every Sunday morning. I didn't mind it the first 10 times we sang it, but after that... I despised that song and still do to this day. Makes me clench my jaw every time I hear it.
But she had some other really great ideas.
She made really cool award charts. Big clear stars that hung down from the ceiling and each point of the star was for a different thing: Bible reading, prayer, memory verse, attendance, and bringing a friend. Sometimes when she wasn't looking, I added star stickers to my star so I'd be ahead of everyone else. But my teacher figured that one out since the bring-a-friend point was all filled up with star stickers and I'd never once brought a friend. I hadn't thought of that when I put the stickers on. I wasn't the brightest bulb in the pack.
One thing I always remember is how she recited, Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
She asked me one time what unity meant, and I stuck my fingers all entwined, tight together and said, Unity is like this. Stuck together.
She gave me a gold star for that answer, and I thought I was basically the smartest person ever.

Tim was talking about unity in church the other night, and he read a few verses that really stuck out to me.

That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ.
Colossians 2:2

And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
Colossians 3:14

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Psalm 133:1

It made me think: Unity starts in my own heart.
That one verse says, put on charity. Me put on charity.
Unity needs the whole crowd to make it happen, but it starts with my heart first. If we each have charity in our hearts toward each other, then the knitting together just... happens. It can't help it.
Charity makes you gracious of other people's faults. Having charity makes you kinda think, Who cares if so and so is so dang sensitive that you have to walk on eggshells anytime you're around them. Who cares if that person never listens to a word you say to them. Who cares if that person has a voice that grates on my nerves. Who cares if they dress like that. Who cares if she's tackless. Who cares if he's a chauvinist. Who cares?
Because charity is kind, charity loves deeper, and love covers a multitude of sins.
Charity's the glue that holds unity together. It's the knit together in love part.

I'm blessed.
I have a church that's knit together.
Unified, pretty much content with each other. I'm not saying it's perfect, and there's never any problems amongst the members, but the problems are small and the unity is stronger.
It's a bunch of people who are diverse, but not disconnected. People who like each other in spite of differences. People who close ranks around each other instead of backbiting and gossiping. People who look and act completely different from each other, but who can still sit around a table at Bible study and laugh together. People who support their local pastor. People who are loyal to each other.
It's good.
And it's pleasant.
And it means alot to me to know that that is the kind of church I get to walk into three times a week.
Those are the kind of people I cheer for during the softball game.

The local pastor, making a difference in softball...

We won both games last night.
 I cheered real loud and was very encouraging, which is most likely why the team did so well.

So when I wear these socks, it really helps my varicose veins...

Those are the people I laugh with at Bible study.
Those are the kids who ask me for candy.

Those are the people I passed out tracts and candy with for the parade last week.
Those are the people I love.

Cool float, huh?
Celebrating 400 Years of the World's Best Seller.

Candy passer outers

No one can refuse a Chick tract from a kid. We know how to take advantage of this...

I mean, we really know how to take advantage of this.

When Bro. Knox was here, he said one of the best ways to get unity in a church was to serve God together.
Go pass out tracts, go on missions trips, visitation, VBS, Sunday School, church services, preacher's meetings, clean-up/work days. Whatever it is that needs done for God, do it together.

And I have a church that does it together.
A knit together church.
Closely, tightly stuck together just like my fingers in Sunday School all those years ago.

Thanks, HBC, you guys bless my heart.