Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. -2 Corinthians 1:3-7 (NIV)-
The community of the church has always been important to me. People love to love. Yes, while at church, we learn about our faith, but between the worship services, Sunday school classes, and meetings, we have the opportunity to share our faith through getting to know one another, telling our stories, listening to others share their life experiences, a hand shake, or a hug.
In our eleven o’clock worship service this past Sunday, Rev. Betty Meadows shared stories of “Tangible Christianity.” Nothing has overwhelmingly impressed me in the showing of Christ’s love than the experiences that I have witnessed when the outpouring of Christ’s love is shown by the church, the people of God’s Kingdom, in a time of need. It’s contagious. I have found that opportunities that I have had to meet a specific need for someone brought me perhaps as much joy as the person in need. The path on which God has lead me has landed me here at Sardis Presbyterian Church, where I have been embraced by the people of this church with compassion and love. The joy is all mine to share in ministry, for all of the days that God allows, and grow in faith with the Kingdom of God at Sardis. The hymn below, is one of the oldest American Hymns that is still in use today, and is even included in the new Presbyterian Hymnal, called Glory to God. It refers to the people of God in three ways: Thy Kingdom, the church, and Zion. It is said to be inspired by Psalm 137.
HYMN: “I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord” (text: Timothy Dwight; music The Universal Psalmist, 1763)
1. I love Thy Kingdom, Lord, The House of Thine abode,
The Church our blest Redeemer saved With his own precious blood.
2. I love Thy church, O God; Her walls before Thee stand,
Dear as the apple of Thine eye, and graven on Thy hand.
3. For her my tears shall fall, For her my prayers ascend;
To her my cares and toils be given, Till toils and cares shall end.
4. Beyond my highest joy I prize her heavenly ways,
Her sweet communion, solemn vows, Her hymns of love and praise.
5. Sure as Thy truth shall last, To Zion shall be given
The brightest glories earth can yield, and brighter bliss of heav’n