Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Serving God - Mom's way or no way!

When I was about 15 I met a boy I'll call Timothy. Timothy was a bit of a wild child, but I adored him. It didn't hurt that he was really cute. Timothy was the youngest child in a very conservative Christian family. His dad was a pastor and his mom was a well-respected writer and speaker. It does seem to be a true fact that preacher's kids are the most rebellious, and Timothy was definitely one those p.k.'s.

Timothy's mom seemed to take a particular liking to me. I don't know what it was, but I'm pretty sure she had it her mind that I was wife material for Timothy. I spent a lot of time with the family - lunches, picnics, nights out on the town, etc... I was only 15, but I knew I was being groomed by Timothy's mom to be her son's wife. Timothy, however, was not interested in me beyond friendship. But, that friendship was incredibly special and I am grateful that it has endured for over thirty years. He's never been far from my heart, even though years and years would pass between visits. You see for such a long time, Timothy was off, as they say, living "in the world".

Over the years I would run into Timothy's mom on occasion. Even though we attended different churches, there was always the potluck here, or the retreat there, that would give opportunity for our path's to cross. After the warm greeting I would ask, "How's Timothy". I always got the same response - "Timothy is Timothy". Mom would then spend the next few minutes filling me in on the latest mistakes being made by her prodigal son.

A few months ago Timothy called me. It had been years and years since I'd heard his voice, and my heart warmed immediately. My friend! We talked for an hour, and then agreed to meet for coffee. After bragging a bit about our children and our families, he told me about his rocky road from good Christian kid, to rebellious teen, to prodigal son, and finally to the humble and grateful man of God that he is today. I was AMAZED at the work God had done in this man's life. I cried as I heard him tell of his love for his family, and his hope for reunion with a lost daughter. Then I asked the question, "How thrilled is your mom that you are now a Christian?" His answer broke my heart. "Mom is angry I'm not a part of the same church denomination as her!"

"The Church" is a body of believers - at least that's what the Bible tells us. The word “church” comes from the Greek word ekklesia, which is defined as “an assembly” or “called-out ones.” The root meaning of “church” is not that of a building, but of people. The church is the body of Christ, and Christ is the head of that body. Ephesians 1:22-23 says, “And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” The body of Christ is made up of all believers in Jesus Christ from the day of Pentecost (Acts chapter 2) until Christ’s return. If you are spending time and energy whining about a member of your family or circle of friends because they are going to the "wrong" church, then get off the pew and rejoice that we are ALL part of the same body. There are no walls! That is a super cool truth! Now, I know there are cults, and I'm not suggesting that they are part of "the church". I'm talking here about all Bible teaching, God fearing, Jesus loving bodies of believers. There are some minor doctrinal teachings that separate the denominations, but we are ONE BODY! Let's get off the pew and celebrate our unity.

To Timothy's're son is awesome, and I am so proud of him. His story of rebellion and salvation encourages me!

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