Yesterday I visited the Tennessee Valley Presbytery’s quarterly meeting, hoping to network a bit with pastors and elders from churches in our presbytery. This was my first visit to presbytery, and though I’d grown up presbyterian I saw first-hand the beauty of brothers dwelling in unity with each other. I saw a blend of seriousness, joy, and gratitude to God for his love for us in Christ Jesus, and a heard a number of moving example of pastoral concern for individuals and for our congregations in the Tennessee Valley. It was encouraging to be reminded that the body of Christ is far wider and richer than any one congregation, and I’m so thankful that the Lord graciously gives overseers to point us to Jesus.
There were a handful of other MTW missionaries present, and the presbytery gave each of us three minutes during their meeting to report to presbytery on the various cross-cultural works we are called to and how we’d seen God working. We also had informal time to meet folks and talk in more depth over coffee in the morning, and during lunch. Please pray that God blessing my follow-up work with a number of congregations.
Today our small group met with our church’s other small group in our neighborhood for our monthly dinner and worship service. We have a very informal time of worship, but follow a traditional printed liturgy and old hymns (a great stylistic balance to our morning worship services). As we’ve become more accustomed to the particular structure we’ve used over the past few months, I think we’re growing into it. Tonight I noticed that in our time of open prayers of thanksgiving and supplication, a number of people prayed specifically for things that showed a certain level of openness, honesty and security in our worship, reminding themselves and all of us of God’s promises, even at times when they may find it hard to believe his Word. I’m not alone in my brokenness, but I’m sojourning with others who are equally broken. Together we are the body of Christ, helping remind each other of God’s constant faithfulness, unbreakable promises, and relentless pursuit of us.
I’m thankful that God didn’t just give us the Bible–as true, infallible, inerrant, and utterly necessary as it is for daily life–but he also gave us his Son, Jesus, and his Holy Spirit. This giving continues to this day, and week to week we his people, his body, are called to feed on him in his Word and in his Supper. I’m deeply thankful for for body of Christ, broken for me.