and from your bounty, God, you provided for the poor.
In high school, my parents divorced, and within a few years, they each remarried. This was quite a challenging time for my sister and me since we no longer had our parents' attention as we did while growing up. They were now focused primarily on their new spouses. Around this time, I started attending church for the first time. At first, attending church was more of an individual thing. I would go to the services and not talk to anyone. However, after finding a church that I really liked, I got involved in different ministries, including participating in Bible studies and serving in youth ministry. After connecting with others at church by learning and serving together in different contexts, I realized how much attending church was like being part of another family. Like my natural family, this family was not perfect; however, it provided a place where I could always find comfort and support.
We read about God comforting and caring for the lonely and broken-hearted throughout the Bible. God does this by designing the church to be our greater family. Creator of the Alpha Course, Nicki Gumble, talks about the intimacy of our church family by saying, "Church is not an organization you join; it is a family where you belong, a home where you are loved and a hospital where you find healing."
As we prepare our hearts for Christmas and wait with anticipation and hope for the coming of Jesus during this season, may we also remember to thank God for the spiritual family He has given us in Christ.
Westminster Presbyterian Church 32111 Watergate Road Westlake Village, CA 91361 p: 818-889-1491 f: 818-889-7132 firstname.lastname@example.org