Saturday, December 13, 2008

The First Day of Christmas

I missed our Thanksgiving service this year at Life Tabernacle. Our pastor, Rev. Gene Holley, Jr. asked the church to thank someone as part of that holiday. I completely missed the boat (not that difficult for me to do, actually). So, in a nod to his request, I have decided to do something different this year for Christmas. Something that is just as much for me as anyone else.

Today, for anyone who cares, starts the ‘twelve days of Christmas.’ This year, I am going to find twelve gifts that have been given to me in my life that have had the greatest impact; twelve things that I am blessed with. It is my gift to me- and you get to enjoy it, too.

I could start with nothing better than this; the church. It might seem a tad cliché, but it simply must be the first thing on my list. Why? Because ‘the church’- the true church that I have been raised in- has been the gateway to providing a steady diet of truth, which in turn led to so many other powerful things.

Since the passing of my parents, I have often wondered if they actually understood what they were doing as they raised me in a biblically based church. I know that above all their goal must have been that my brother and I make it Heaven. I would imagine that would be any parent’s goal or the goal of anyone who reaches for another soul.

Being that my parents were converted to truth, I wonder if they ever thought of any other reason for raising us in church? I wonder if they thought that perhaps there would come a time when we would face uncertainty: our life would be turned completely upside down, except for the fact that it was grounded in truth and somehow never really capsized like it seemed it would?

I wonder if they ever imagined they might not always be around and maybe they thought that a day might come when we would feel alone- alone and empty- except we could never really be too alone because there was a supernatural fellowship with a body of Christ that fulfilled needs so deeply that it would be difficult to describe.

I doubt they ever thought about too many of these things… that doesn’t stop me from wondering if they did.

I wish more people thought about what they were really giving their children when raising them in the body of Christ. It might make them a little more willing to press on and believe in the worth of the fight.

I am afraid too many parents take for granted what they have the opportunity to give their children if they will stay committed, faithful, and vigilant concerning being in the body of Christ. It is so much more than just attending a church. It’s about helping to grow a church; contribute to a church; invest your life in a church. It is about the ability to dissolve your life into a body where the whole is much more than the sum of its parts.

On this first day of Christmas, I chose to remember that I have been given ‘the church’: and it is one of- if not the single greatest- gift I have been given. If I know you personally and you have continued reading this far then you are probably a part of this wonderful gift that was given to me. If so- thank you.


Linda Elms said...

A GREAT TREASURE! So glad you are part of "the church". So much is found inside those walls. MERRY CHRISTMAS! Love you!

Keith and Carla said...

Ahhh...the church is an incredible gift! Great post.

Karla said...

Awesome post, Joseph! Can't wait to see what the rest of the "twelve-days-of-Christmas" brings! I love this idea.

Joseph James said...

Let's see if I can make it! lol