“I mean, has it really happened if you haven’t put it on Facebook yet?” This is a question that I get from Katie when something important happens and I forget to share it on social media. I can understand this. After all, how significant is an event if the story is not shared? Feeling the urgent need to share something is the hallmark characteristic of having experienced something wonderful. Just think, what if Christ had come, lived, suffered, died, and risen again and none of the disciples had bothered to share the story with anybody?! The telling of a story is the proof of the importance of the reality.
Let me put it another way. We are currently amidst the extremely interesting, sometimes downright frustrating, and often rewarding, process of “potty training” our toddler-aged son, Jude. We always know that he has “poo pooed in the potty” because he comes careening into the room shouting it at the top of his lungs! We then absolutely MUST go through the potty liturgy of having a good look (I know, I know), dumping it into the big potty, letting Jude flush, cheering, and then getting a small reward. This might sound over the top (I definitely would have thought so prior to doing it), but when we studied in preparation for this process we learned that children learn quicker, and get more excited about accomplishing new things when the event is shared and celebrated by family and friends.
Well that makes complete sense to a Christian because as witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus Christ we recognize the importance of shared and celebrated stories. In fact, sharing and celebrating what God is up to in our world, in our communities, in our neighborhoods, and families is fundamental to what it means to be Christians together! This is also why Katie and I are so excited to begin our deputation tour of East Tennessee. We have been so blessed, overjoyed, humbled, and excited about all the churches that have invited us to come and share our story, calling, and journey. It just makes it all so much more treasured and valuable to be able share and celebrate what God is doing in and through us with our church family and friends. We are already preparing to come do just that! We are excited for how God is going to be anointing each and every worship service and it is our hope that the excitement and joy that we share over our calling would lead us to genuine celebration! (Maybe even to the point of careening into a room shouting at the top of our lungs like a child!) Thank you so much for the gift of coming to worship with you. We know that this is a special treasure, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and all the ways it is shaping our realities.
If you have not scheduled us yet and would still like to have us come, we have just a few Sunday night dates left. We would love to add you to the sharing celebration. Thank you for letting us share with you, thank you for being our family, and for the joy and excitement of sharing the story with treasured people like you! I will end with a prayer adapted from Paul in Philippians 1:3-5: “We thank our God every time we remember you. In all our prayers for all of you, we always pray with joy, because of your partnership with us in the Gospel from the first day until this one.” See you soon!
Grace and Peace,