Today’s devotion comes from Sheena.
Read Romans 12:9-13
I miss you!  Yes you, don’t look over your shoulder :)

I miss you all terribly and at first I struggled to work out why (bear with me!).  I miss you more than the work colleagues I used to see daily and now occasionally meet.  I miss you more than the parents I used to chat to at the school gates.  I miss you more than old pals I’d have a coffee with.

We only met one morning a week, and when we spoke I had one eye on my kids (and the other on the biscuits.)  And zoom prayer groups, life groups, phone calls, letters, e mails and whatsapp chats are making life easier, but I still miss being able to shake your hand or give you a hug.

I miss you all because the tie that binds us is stronger than a friendship or a common interest.

In Matthew 12:48 Jesus says… ‘who is my mother, and who are my brothers?  For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.’

We are children of God!  We have a Father who loves us; it’s taken me years but I now get that God is my Dad and he knows me and cares for me..
The Bible says in John 1:12
‘But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.’

But I am not an only child – you are my brothers and sisters in Christ.  We are bound together, we are taught to look after each others’ physical and spiritual welfare.
Paul writes in Romans 12:9-13
‘Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.  Honour one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but give spiritual fervour serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with God’s people who are in need.  Practice hospitality.’

We are to love each other sincerely and deeply.  To care for each others’ physical needs; and during lockdown seeing that those in our church family who are more isolated have received practical support.  St Columba also has a lovely tradition of providing dinners for those in challenging times.

We’ve to look after each others’ spiritual welfare too and we have prayer groups, life groups, leadership teams to help but we should also be looking out for each other too.  Some of us are ‘older’ brothers/ sisters and some are younger.  Not necessarily in age, but in experience and understanding of God and I pray that the older may lead the younger and the young listen to what experience has to teach them.  Our little ones are our next generation – we must teach them to be children of God and to be good brothers and sisters!

Dear Father, thank you for providing me with brothers and sisters.  Thank you that the ties that bind us are stronger than just sharing a common interest.  Father I love them all and I want them to know that.   Lord help me to reach out to those in my church family who may be in need and to welcome new brothers and sisters with open arms in the future.

Amen
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