where love is alive 

A few weeks ago I was tagged in two Facebook posts on the same day at just about the same time.  One was a photo celebrating friendship with a fitting poetic quote.  The other Facebook post was a picture of me receiving pie in the face as a reward for our kindergarten class reaching its goal for High Attendance Day.  Over the next week I noted that both posts received a higher than average number of “likes” from Facebook users who viewed them.  But I also noticed that one post received “likes” on a pace much faster than the other.  As you might guess, the “pie in the face” post ultimately received twice as many “likes” as the “friendship post.”

This shows the allure of simple, light-hearted silliness.  A pie in the face is sweet.  It’s funny.  It’s classic.  It grabs our attention and it makes us smile.  However, by comparison friendship is the more valued commodity.

There are a lot of “pie in the face” things in our world enticing our attention.  Without wisdom and self-control, we can easily focus more on what is simply sweet, light, and momentary rather than upon what contains true substance in life.

Sometimes the items with the most substance in ministry are the ones that receive less attention.  For example, starting this Sunday our congregation is again hosting Family Promise Week.  Two families in transition will be living in the Annex.  Our church will provide housing and meals for them while the local Family Promise staff assists them in securing long-term housing.  Servant-hearted members of the North Cleveland Baptist family will cook meals, provide company, set up the facility, stay overnight, bring snacks, and do laundry.  While our church does many ministries, partnering with Family Promise is certainly one of the most biblical activities we share:

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Matthew 25:35-36 NIV

Family Promise Volunteers work selflessly behind the scenes to provide meaningful ministry.  And we still need a few more people to help with Family Promise next week.  Contact the church office to see what needs are still available.

The holidays are full of things that are eye-catching on the surface but have very little true substance.  Please pause both to ponder the true meaning of the season and to participate in the substance of generous, selfless, and servant-hearted ministries.                                                      -Jay


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