Sisters, Sisters

By Pastor Carolyn Jenkins

My favorite song in the Christmas Class White Christmas is "Sisters, Sisters," sung by Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen (actually, Vera didn't sing, Rosemary Clooney or Shirley Stephens sung for her).  This song is ringing in my ears as I have two sisters from Georgia with us for 11 days!  We are having a blast!  I know everyone doesn't have a sister; some have no siblings; some do not enjoy the ones they have.  But we are the last three standing from our family of origin.  So we are treasuring our time together.  

Somethings we call the church community that meets at 2932 King Street our "church family."  And truly we are to treat one another that way.  As in most families, there are difficult relationships and loving ones and not everyone likes the turkey cooked the same way at Thanksgiving.  Yet we consider ourselves family, warts and all.  The New Testament church had their difficulties but they were described as "see how they love each other."

However, the Bible describes the church as "the body of Christ."  In our families, a child will grow up and move away; we expect that.  But if our kidneys or left foot quits working - totally different problem!  

1 Corinthians 12:12-20 reads, "Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body." (NIV)

As we look at this passage, there are instructions for us to love and care for one another.  Verse 26 indicates that if one part of our body suffers, we all suffer.  If one part is honored, we all rejoice.  how can we make that happen in our congregation:  If you have been around for 20 years, you know folks and care about them.  But our congregation is having visitors and new members every week!  How will you get to know them?  How will they get to know you?  I have some suggestions:

1.) Speak to people in your pew and directly in front or behind you.  Say your name.  Ask how long they have been coming to the church.  This applies to 50-year members as well as visitors!
2.) Instead of rushing to say hello to your favorite people at church, wave at them and rush to those you have never seen, or don't know.  
3.) Join a small group:  there is a long list on our website www.fbcalexandria.org.
4.) Start a small group that meets when and where YOU suggest.  Ideas for studies and discussions, etc. can be found by contacting Reed Bernick (reed@fbcalexandria.org), or any of our pastors.  
5.) See yourself as a missionary of welcoming others into our "body of Christ" - volunteer in the Children's area (Beth Leeth:  beth@fbcalexandria.org) or be a part of the Welcome Team (greeters) on Sunday mornings (Jessica Buchanan: jessica@fbcaledandria.org).  

So we all come from a family of origin:  good, bad, or ugly.  But our church family, the body of Christ, is an ever-changing, growing organism.  Don't be the left foot that slows down the body.  Every part of THIS BODY is important!

Speaking of sisters, we are headed to the beach for a few days.  I will enjoy my family-family.  And I will pray daily for my church family, the body of Christ on this earth!

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