Although she was not truly one of us, we remember her fondly.

About twenty-five years ago, my family and I had relocated from Utah to Indiana. The community where we settled was undergoing a huge amount of change. It had become a bedroom community for many who commuted into Chicago and other nearby centers of employment. This influx of newcomers had greatly disrupted the lifestyles of the “old timers” in the community.

We found a church shortly after resettling. I can remember so well a story told to me by the pastor of that church describing the discomfort between the interlopers and the established, long-term residents. This is the story:

“A pastor was delivering the message at the funeral of a woman who died at the age of 99. She had been brought into this community at the age of one by her parents. She was baptized in the same church where her funeral was being held and had been a very active lifelong member of the congregation. The pastor began his message with ‘Although she was not truly one of us, we remember her fondly.’ ”

I think we’ve all encountered situations like that. We seek to become “members”, to be accepted. Yet, no matter what we do or how we approach things, we remain “outsiders.”

Many churches are like that.  Sometimes we see a situation where the “odd ball” WAS accepted. Far too often that is not the case.

In our Christian lives we do establish close relationships. That is a part of “being in communion” not only with Jesus but with fellow Christians.

What we must guard against is doing so to the exclusion of others who would join the community, who seek that communion with Jesus and the fellowship of like believers.

At times, we must take a step outside of our tightly held circles and look back in through the eyes of others. What is it that they seek and how are we responding to their needs?

Only then can we open the circle, expand it to grow the Body of Christ.

Shalom,
Art

Alive in The Word

About aliveintheword

Missouri, USA Married to Marty, 45 years 2 sons (with 2 daughers-in-law) and 2 granddaughters Life dedicated to serving Jesus Christ and delivering the Good News
This entry was posted in PRAISE THE LORD TESTIMONIES and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Although she was not truly one of us, we remember her fondly.

  1. lilkaraphael says:

    Very nice! Exclusion by “Christians” is far too common. God wants us to share His love with others which includes those unlike ourselves. When we can look past the nonsense that divides us, then maybe we can truly be one in Christ. Peace. Lilka

  2. ptl2010 says:

    Christ took the effort to know individuals who He ministered to. He knew when a brother was dying and died, He knew when the woman of Samaria had several husbands, He dined with a tax collector. We need to make the effort likewise. We do not go to church just to get, but also to give for in giving we apply what we have learnt from the Bible to practical living within the body.. to love, to have patience and be long-suffering, to encourage in faith and to be good and kind one to another. If we cannot do that within the body of Christ with people who are supposed to have the same spiritual passions as us, how can we minister to those outside the church who have different beliefs than us. .. how are we going to live together in heaven is a question that must be answered.

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