A Big Family

Seated at round tables in a school cafeteria, Tom and I viewed our new church family. A father, mother and four children claimed the table by the wall. Several older couples shared tables. A few singles here and there were spattered throughout. Among them I noticed several young men. Maybe 70 people in all.

Music streamed from Pastor David Brady’s iPhone and bellowed out through speakers. Some hymns I knew while others were new to me. All exalted the same God.

But it’s not like the church my kids grew up in. The church that prayed for my husband for fourteen years until one day my pastor and friend Steve Kreloff announced that Tom Hylton was born-again.

Everybody clapped.

I couldn’t stop smiling. Neither could Tom. Neither could his children.

In Florida, we sit on cushioned¬†pews. A congregation of 500 are spread between two services. A praise team and often a choir lead in worship. People I’ve known for several years and a few I’ve just met sing, pray, read Scripture and listen as Steve serves up a good portion of God’s Word verse by verse.

In Mt Airy, North Carolina (AKA Mayberry)David teaches about “One Anothering.” How as a church family, we are to love, encourage, admonish, and care for each other. A loaf of bread rests before him at the round cafeteria table. Familiar words from God’s Word are spoken confidently, giving glory and praise to our Savior.

The bread is broken and served by leaders. A young red-haired man holds the silver plate filled with tiny pieces of bread. He looks me in the eyes–a stranger to his world–smiles and says, “This bread is a symbol of His body broken for you.”

And we share something. A love for Jesus. Fellowship.

I take the bread and as I do images and words are justaposed  in my brain. I hear those words in Spanish, Vietnamese, French, Moroccan, and Creole as believers of different nations celebrate the death and resurrection of our Lord.

A big family.

I’m leaving my family of 30 years and 500 people to be with my other family of 70. They just happen to have a southern accent.

But make no mistake, we are one family.

The body of Christ.

And all God’s people said,

“Amen.”

 

4 Comments on "A Big Family"

  1. Becky Healy says:

    This is GORGEOUS, Pauline!! How true! You made me cry twice!:) Don’t you love the Body of Christ, and how we are all knit together?!

  2. Miriam Brinker says:

    The wonder is in the instant connection that comes from sharing the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the love of a common Savior, Jesus Christ! Amen, indeed!!

  3. Pauline Hylton says:

    Thanks Becky and Miriam. Looking forward to heaven where we can all meet!

  4. Sue Dunigan says:

    Amen! Can’t wait to meet them!

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