“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way.
The Lord be with all of you.”
2 Thessalonians 3:16
Studying Paul’s journey throughout the New Testament as he started the early churches gives us an amazing example of resilience. When we read about his trials and struggles, we can almost feel his pain and heartache….and – believe it or not – JOY! But what I love the most about the way Paul writes is that he is personable. He greets everyone by name. He tries to include everyone individually.
“Greet Aquila and Priscilla, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus…..”
“I commend to you our sister Phoebe…..”
“Greet my dear friend Epenetus….Ampliatus….Urbanus….Herodion”
“Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything…”
So I apologize if during Relay for Life I’ve ever greeted you by yelling – “Hey! Juny’s son….can you come carry this heavy thing!” Or, something even less personable (and more obnoxious) like – “Allison’s boyfriend – here is a dishrag-wash up these dishes” I am TERRIBLE with names. I have to know you like ten years before I even realize who your specific children are. I am TRULY SORRY I am not more like the apostle Paul.
As we wrap up Relay for Life this year I want to thank each of you by name. But I can’t. There were so many of my “fellow workers in Christ Jesus” running around with actionchurch t-shirts, serving, lifting, leading, dragging, sweating, carrying heavy things – that I couldn’t possibly remember everyone’s name. Thank you for serving! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And even that is not enough.
I commend you all for a job well done! You have my undying gratitude for putting up with the bumps and hiccups (and the DJ). I praise the way you dealt with the screaming children, the missing forks, melted cobbler and the general chaos that is Relay for Life. I loved the way the volunteers in each area pulled together, instructed and uplifted each other. It made my heart burst with happiness to see all of you loving the cancer survivors and their caregivers in such wonderful and unique ways.
And, perhaps even more than that, I celebrate the smiles, the hugs and handshakes, the pats on the back that were exchanged amongst “the crew”. We are a church filled not just with people – but with friends and fellow workers in Christ. We all have our quirks and our faults; we have imperfections and burdens. But together – through events like Relay for Life – we are able to not only Love God, Love People and Take Action – but we are also Loving One Another.
Well done actionchurch. Well done.
“Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.”
2 Corinthians 13:11