Tonight I had dinner in a large room full of people who began this long journey of discipleship with us at JPUSA in the 1970’s. Singles, spouses, children and family members shared stories, looked at a long stream of black and white pictures and swapped jokes and trivia related to our shared community life and mission.We laughed, enjoyed fellowship, sang a number of old but not forgotten songs that rarely are sung these days.At the end of the night those who wished to do so prayed.As I thought about whether I should lift a prayer up aloud or not, I found myself simply thanking God for His incredible grace in the experience of serving for so many years with these incredible friends. Yes, saints.Well, I actually prayed thanking God that I was blessed in not only being able to read about saints, but to actually live with so many!Biblically speaking, all Christ-followers are truly saints through faith in Jesus, nothing more or less.Christians celebrate the “known” names, those many famous ones either in terms of them being mentioned in the Bible or throughout church history.Many churches display plaques, photos or paintings in order to help congregations remember and on occasion visitors inquire about who this or that person was. Whoever they were, they were part of the local church family, the life, mission and loving service of the Lord among those people in that place. They are remembered. People need reminders, though of course God never forgets His children and their service in Christ.Yet there is a very real blessing in being part of a local congregation with the same core of committed people serving- as imperfectly as we do and have.It is a unique and encouraging witness in a world that increasingly seems fragmented, disconnected, distanced from one another except for online social networks or the rare face-to-face meeting where anything of depth is actually shared.Perhaps like myself, those reading this have visited local churches around the world and from time to time have realized some of the people have actually served the Lord together for many decades. There is a closeness as a result of all the shared struggles, exchange of forgiveness and living out their faith as a group as opposed to being closed individuals living apart though in the same local church.Perhaps you are blessed in sharing a part of such an intimate fellowship. If you do, you know the cost and in truth, how amazing such a long-term shared walk is in our times.Celebrate!Or perhaps seek God honestly about what you are willing to do about that depth of shared call and mission with others where God has placed you.Saints. I’m so blessed by so many- right in my own house!-Glenn


1 Comment

  1. Just a week ago last Saturday gathered in our home we some folks who we have shared life in Jesus with over the past 30 years. It was a special time as we shared our hopes, dreams and fears together. The fine art of friendship, such a blessing. Love, Chris

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