“ Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day, the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:46-47)
I’ve spent the 2½ months since Epiphany trying to figure out my “star word”. Several of my past star words spoke to me immediately; it was readily apparent what God wanted me to do with “silence” and “mindful”. My 2022 word is “difference”, and this word has taken me in several directions.
Is God asking me to notice and appreciate the difference (diversity) around me? To treasure my interactions with those who see life differently? To be grateful for the differences, instead of feeling irritated by them?
Is God asking me to make a difference in the lives of others? And to be more openly thankful to those who make a difference in my own life?
I must admit that I expend a great deal of physical and mental energy on things that really don’t make that much of a difference in the grand eternal scheme of things. Does this need to change?
Is God asking me to admit the difference between what I CAN control and that large part of life which is outside my control? Should I ponder how Jesus’ greatest impact on history occurred through his “passion”, through the actions he allowed to happen to him?
In our February congregational letter, we were asked to answer two questions:
How has Trinity Lutheran made a difference in your life?
How has Trinity Lutheran encouraged or equipped you to make a difference in someone else’s life?
I realized that I have ready answers to both these questions. And perhaps it is those answers that should be the stories I tell others – during coffee break at a Bridge party, at family gatherings, talking with my neighbors, etc.
There are a host of people in our valley who are currently not tightly connected with a church. Some had a bad experience in their past. Others take the stories in the Bible literally and cannot reconcile these with what science tells them is factual. Others treat their spirituality as something personal, individual, and private, with no interest in gathering with others. Others are just busy.
When I think of people who fall into those groups, I surmise that they would be repelled by a recitation of theology or a listing of all the activities on my church calendar. But, as I share how my life is changed and improved through my experiences with God’s Word and God’s people, that might resonate with them. If they hear how my acts of generosity are linked to a faith that is nurtured by my church family, perhaps that might make the prospect of being in a Christian community attractive to them.
Lord, your love shown to me through your people has made a big difference in my life. Lead me to share this with others. Amen.