A Missouri Thanksgiving

This last Sunday we observed the Lord’s Supper, which was a really neat thing to do with my new church. It was the first time Lauryn and I observed the Lord’s Supper with Raintree, and also my very first time to ever “lead” the Lord’s Supper.

What was most meaningful for me in remembering Christ’s sacrifice was interacting with so many different people before and after.

  • The founding pastor of Raintree Church prayed for me at 6am.
  • I talked briefly with a man who makes it his personal ambition to know every single person’s name who walks through our doors.
  • I spoke with an older couple about my need to buy more sweaters to survive a Missouri winter (I only have one sweater).
  • I hugged a woman who loves attending Raintree with her “virtual” grandchildren.
  • I spoke with a single dad who brings his children most weeks.
  • I prayed for a man before he gave his testimony.
  • I spoke with a young man about the next time he’s planning a paintball game.
  • I laughed when Jacob smiled at one of our elders who was trying to get him to smile.
  • I joked at the beginning of my message about a particular man’s ability to embrace people like no one else is able to embrace people…
  • I hugged a woman who lost her husband many years ago and struggles with loneliness.
  • I shook the hand of an intelligent, successful young man a few years younger than me.
  • I spoke with a woman asking about how to order my mom’s book.
  • I spoke briefly and joked around with a few teenagers who seemed to be so excited about life.
  • I smiled back at a 3-year-old girl who was smiling at me during a song in worship.
  • I joked with a mom right after the service about raising boys vs. raising girls (which I can’t wait for!).
  • I spoke with a man struggling after having surgery, losing some of his hearing, and still struggling greatly after losing his wife four years ago.

There are so many different people with different backgrounds and present situations at Raintree. I’ve read nearly 75 of their testimonies over the last several weeks, and have been amazed at what God has done in their lives.

The beauty of all of this, to me, is that even with our flaws and sin and struggles, we are united by the greatest truth in the history of the world: We have been fully restored to God the Father, the Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe, because of His Son having paid the price for sin, once and for all.

This Thanksgiving, our first Missouri Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for a wife who was willing to move to Missouri with me, and begin a journey I’m hoping will involve the rest of our lives. I’m thankful for a son who is so fun and crazy that I can’t help but love him. I’m thankful for elders who truly love Raintree Community Church and want to see people grow in their faith, and NEW people come to saving faith. I’m thankful for turkey, a Missouri fall, family, extended family, turkey, my Tabernacle family, my Raintree family, my wife, my son, and turkey (did I mentioned turkey?!).

But most of all, I’m thankful for the Cross. I’m thankful for a God who was so merciful that He sent His Son to die for my sin. I’m thankful for a camp pastor, when I was in high school, who shared the truth of the Gospel clearly enough for me to understand, and so repent and believe in Christ.

God is good, and no matter the situation, children of God have the greatest thing for which we can thankful: Jesus Christ, our Mediator, our King of Kings, our Savior and Lord.

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