Our message today in church was from John 15: 1-17 which is jammed packed with so many good things we need to be reminded of in our day-to-day living with one another.
I'm glad I had my #sermonnotes page prepped, because I was scribbling fast to keep up!
"I AM the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser...every branch that does bear fruit HE PRUNES, that it may bear more fruit." John 15:1-2
Ouch! That pruning process can make us feel vulnerable, yet ultimately strengthens us.
Our pastor talked a lot about being in community.
He emphasized the benefits of bearing fruit (Colossians 3:12-16) by simply ABIDING in Christ.
He boiled it down further: STAY
One phrase that struck me in particular was "often we have to belong before we can believe." This can be related to the salvation story, but also applies to the church body. We have to keep showing up and keep going to things - even if it's awkward - to develop a sense of belonging. Once we feel like we belong - that we feel like we really do have a place here - then we can believe more in the messages we hear...the more we believe we have a part in the church body, the more we believe in the love of Christ and the more we believe we can extend this to others.
I hope that each of you develops a sense of belonging in your church and also in this Bible Quilting community. If you're feeling disconnected, maybe you can invite a friend over to Bible Quilt together. It provides a little structure for the invite plus gives you a mutual focus...being vulnerable to one another in this way may deepen friendships and lessen loneliness.
In this valentine season that careens its focus toward romantic love, it also is a time to reflect on the wonders of God's love toward us. He CHOSE us. (John 15:16)
Abide in that~~
...and know, that you are loved, friend.
There's always a seat at Christ's table...and there's always a little laughter amidst the washi tape action at the Bible Quilting table for you! ❤️