Three Sabbatical Reflections
Dear Church Family,
Thank you so much for allowing my family an extended time away during the month of June. As I wrote to you before we left, this has been in many ways, a very difficult year for my family. Nothing sudden, or tragic- just exhausted from the pace of life, work, ministry, school, marriage and parenting. In one sense a very common scenario, shared by any family. But in another sense, there are very unique struggles known only by those who have adopted children from difficult places. I wanted to take a minute to share with you some of my reflections from our break.
I CAN’T DO THIS ALONE.
One of the most beautiful things God revealed to us while we were away is that we need our church family. Why would I describe that realization as beautiful? When God saved us, He did not just give us himself, he also gave us his family, because we need both. And that is beautiful. It is not good for man to be alone. Indeed, it is also not good for a family to be alone. We need community. We need the church. Being away from our church family for five weeks caused us to rediscover our need for the family of God.
THERE IS SOMETHING SPECIAL HERE.
As the weeks went by, particularly on Sundays, we experienced a deep longing to be home, worshipping with you. We did gather with other saints when possible, which was a blessing. One thing became clear: First Baptist Boynton is a unique work of God. I know that sounds sappy. But it’s true! Just ask those who have recently joined. What we have here is special. I did not say perfect. The church is made of people. There are no perfect people and no perfect churches! However, there exists here an uncommon commitment to the exaltation of Christ and the teaching of God’s Word. There is a desire for deep gospel-fellowship and our worship gatherings are marked by the sound of congregational singing. Again, none of these are by any means perfect. But these are increasingly distinctive values in our world. We should be grateful! And we should be telling people.
Since returning home I have a renewed passion and boldness to share about the Love of Christ and the grace of belonging to the family of God. These blessings were not intended to be kept, they were commanded to be shared freely. I can’t imagine life without Christ or his Church. How can I keep quiet about the grace, forgiveness and love that is freely available to all? Let us pray for one another in this!
It’s so good to be home. We are incredibly grateful for time away, but even more grateful for an inward assurance that we are where God wants us to be: with you.
For Christ and His Church,
Pastor Keith, Kimmie, Kurt, Kevin, Kamryn & Kassie