I have come to the final conclusion that this Christian walk cannot possibly succeed without God’s people wrapped around me. As I look back in my life, I realize that every major spiritual growth spurt has occurred when I have entered into a community of believers that loved me and allowed me to ask and seek, push and pull, rise and fall, – ultimately drawing me deeper into God.
This lesson has been driven home sharply this week. One of the boys of my congregation was drawn away from his church family by a “friend” and into a community of hate and darkness. There was no love, no hope – nothing of value. How did it end? Let’s just say that I am doing a funeral this Monday for a 15 year old boy who at this time last year was wrapped in the love of a small church.
I truly believe that he is now wrapped in the love of God – but that doesn’t take away all the pain. When he was pulled away from our community, he was enveloped in darkness. Please – follow the directions of Scripture: “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (II Timothy 2:22) Do not try to do this alone.