by Judi Van Horn, elder FCC:
I started pondering what I learned in reading the Bible in a Year. When we were asked during the worship service last month, I hadn’t given it a lot of thought. I was still in the “I did it and it was finally over” mode. As time goes on and things come up, I can look back and put what I read into my daily life.
As you know, 2009 was rather stress-filled – major reorganization at Baker Hughes and not knowing what job, if any I would have, then learning the new job; moving Marcell (my mother) into Memory Care and watching her continued decline; and moving myself – this was a good stress, but still full of angst in making the decision and then getting rid of many things that held memories. I remember feeling stressed, but never anything overwhelming. I was reading daily about people whose lives encompassed so much more.
The last couple of days, I’ve put some of this in context with FCC and the worship service and have these thoughts:
In most instances, these people did not have a temple or church to worship in, yet their faith flourished.
o Abraham – picked up and moved whenever God told him to, trusted in God to the point of willingness to sacrifice his child.
o Joseph – sold as a slave and growing into a prominent role in Egypt – always trusting God
o Ruth – her mother-in-law’s faith was so strong in a foreign land that it inspired Ruth to return with her to Naomi’s homeland and trust in Naomi’s God
o Jeptha’s daughter – her father made a pledge to God and she willingly complied
o Paul – traveled many places starting churches, but never really had one of his own
o All of the early Christians in the Bible – they met in people’s homes, under dangerous conditions, and their faith grew.
I’ve learned from reading the Bible that, like the home, the church is not the building or the furniture or the liturgy. The church is the people. I have heard us say a benediction many times, "We know, O Lord, that we do not leave the church, but leave as the church". When I focus on that, then that's when I get the most in worship that feeds my soul. Just wanted to share.
Judi Van Horn