"I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all. But each of us was given grace according to the measure of Christ's gift."
"The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ. We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people's trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body's growth in building itself up in love (Ephesians 4:1-10, 12-16)."
I've heard this passage many times in my life. Tonight my colleague used this text as our council devotion. I was only at council for a few minutes because the Bishop was there as they begin to talk about what the next step is for them. But they wanted me to come to give a final report so when my colleague read this text, I had to smile. My colleague has always been some one that I have learned a lot from. Like my colleague stated tonight, the first times he heard these texts he wondered what gifts he brought but now he looks at that text and wonders what texts each of them bring. Oh how true...they have instilled gifts in me that I didn't have before. They each bring their own gifts. And together those gifts build up the community.
The words that stuck out for me tonight though were the words "Building itself up in love." These people have loved me. They have shown me what God's love and their love look like and they have written that love on my heart; a love that goes with me no matter where I go. Together we have "built each other up in love."
It's hard to imagine what my life would have been like without being called to DLC. God truly does have a sense of humor. Who would have ever thought that I would end up here but that is exactly wherre God called me? And I have been incredibly blessed to serve the homes and families of DLC. I am so very thankful for all they have taught me. I am so thankful for the love they have written on my heart. I am so very thankful for the gifts that we have shared together and the gifts they have instilled in me. And I am so thankful for them "building me up in love."