Growing up, my favorite books were true stories about real people. I love the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and read them all multiple times. I used to imagine what Laura would think if she visited in the 21st century. Would she be amazed at our amount of leisure time and our modern appliances or marvel at the ease of travel? Would she be overwhelmed by the number of choices we make each day from how to spend our time to what to eat for dinner? A quick trip through the produce section of the local Kroger would stun a visiting pioneer. Who could have dreamed of year-round fresh fruit and vegetables, much less star fruit and tomatillos and packs of tri-colored mini-peppers?
We indeed have the world at our fingertips. We make most of our decisions based on our preferences rather than on our desire to live another day as the pioneers did. Our modern culture is complex and difficult to navigate, the number of choices often overwhelming. And yet from the garden of Eden to our modern day, don’t we all crave community, that sense of knowing and being known, loved and understood by others? So also the God who created us desires to commune with us and places us in a special community that He ordained through the sacrifice of His Son, calling it the bride of Christ, the church.
See what Paul says about that community called the church in Ephesians 4:1-6.
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
We naturally gravitate toward relationships with those who are like us. Are you single, married, unmarried, divorced, widowed, married again? Do you work or stay at home? Do you educate your children in homeschool, public school or private school? Are you caring for aging parents or family members with special needs? Do you live from paycheck to paycheck or are you building up your retirement account? In the church at Colossae the divisions were evident. Jew or Greek? Circumcised or uncircumcised? Barbarian or Scythian? Slave or free? These things used to divide them but in Christ they put off the old self and put on the new as we also are called to do. Jesus Christ, the one who unites, is far greater than the things that separate us. (see Colossians 3: 10-11).
Paul continues by giving instruction about how to put on the new self.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Col. 3:12-16).
As our church grows, smaller groups develop from the larger whole. Deepening friendships are good, insular groups are not. Will you accept the challenge of keeping your eyes and hearts open to others at POPC by making intentional decisions to reach out to those who are not in your immediate circle of friends?
And that’s where Ladies Choir comes in! Here is an opportunity for ladies of all ages to intentionally come together, drawn not by a common interest or hobby or stage of life, but drawn together by Jesus Christ and called to relationship with each other because of our relationship with Him. And as we develop these relationships, we build each other up in the truth of God’s word as we sing it together. Singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs is God’s gift to His church, a way for His children, His creation, to reflect the glory of their Creator. It is a testament to the unity found in Jesus Christ and a counter-cultural chance to be a music maker rather than a music consumer. Music knowledge or skill is not a requirement. If you have a speaking voice and a heart of love for Jesus, all other skills can be learned.
Your sisters in the choir are delighted to welcome you to join us for any or all of our in June at 6:30 p.m. in the choir room. Please contact me if you have questions – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Soli Deo Gloria!