Eight months ago I left my church family that I’d been worshiping with for 8 years. I had grown to love those folks so much but God had clearly shown us that it was time for us to move to Florida.
With that move came the task of finding a new church. Much to my surprise we landed in a church immediately. I thought since we’d found a place right away, it would be much easier to make the transition. But, I was wrong. Transitions are never easy, especially for someone who struggles with even small changes. After 8 months, I am finally beginning to make some connections. We’ve joined a small group that meets weekly and I’ve joined the teaching team for the womens’ bible study on Wednesday evenings.
But I still walk into the auditorium on a Sunday morning and find my seat along with 1500 other people who I don’t recognize. In a church with a membership of over 3000 I think I can put names to faces of about 20 people.
Recently I was sitting in the worship service and suddenly thought about someone I’d gone to church with years ago. Someone in the congregation reminded me of that person and it made me smile. Then I began to think of others I’ve worshiped with over the 40 years that I’ve been a Christ follower. So many wonderful, loving folks that I had the privilege of walking part of the journey with. People who are taking a different path now or have already arrived at the final destination of worshiping forever in the presence of Jesus. The faces of those special friends came to mind one after another.
As I closed my eyes I could imagine that they were all right there with me, worshiping the Lord as I was. It brought me comfort but also reminded me that God is not bound by time or space. Even though I am not in the physical presence of the precious ones that came to mind, and may never be again in this life, I can trust that we are still all part of the same family. We are still worshiping the same God “together” although we are many miles apart or even separated by death.
And one day, we will all be together in Eternity. One day we will see Him face to face. One day we will gather together and there will be no strangers.
When I opened my eyes again, I didn’t see a vast sea of unknown faces. I saw brothers and sisters in Christ. Family members that I just haven’t met yet.
Perhaps you have had the same experience. Perhaps you too have felt alone in a crowd. Remember, there are family members all over the world that you just haven’t met yet. Perhaps it’s time to reach out to them and introduce yourself. They may be looking for you too.
Ephesians 2: 19-22 ” So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.”