By Katie Helmreich
Our 4th of July was absolutely idyllic. We celebrated with family and friends out in our backyard, paddling around in the creek with the ducklings, playing games, snacking, and visiting. Just sharing life! It was amazing.
After dark the yard was filled with kids running, dancing, and jumping, visible only as blurs of light from sparklers and glow bracelets. Glowing swirls overlapping and trailing behind them. Contagious joy!
In the midst of all the excitement, it really struck me what a blessing it is to be following Christ alongside each other. There’s a world of difference between knowing I have this community and actually being together!
I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints…
For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.
(Philemon 4-5, 7, ESV)
Each of these kids has faith burning in their hearts. But our family isn’t an island; we’re blessed with friends and family who share the love of Jesus, too. Instead of one or two kids out there dancing with swirling light, it was a whole yard full! The glow was exponential!
I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in truth.
(3 John 4, ESV)
What an incredible gift.
I am thankful for the way God’s light shines through these children. I am thankful for the way even simple backyard fireworks become uplifting and encouraging when God’s people gather! I thank God for the gift of faithful families around us as we raise our kids, and continue to grow, even as adults! And I pray that the Spirit will continue to gently draw together God’s people, especially any who feel alone.
For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure… you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life.
(Philippians 2:13, 14-16, ESV)
How might God be leading you to be connect in fellowship with those around you? God is working in you both the desire and the delight of being in community. As you hold to the Word of truth, your light will shine, just like those kids of 4th of July, as they ran back and forth, trailing sparklers and glow bracelets.
And just like those kids, the joy is contagious! Celebrate the light you see shining in someone else’s life. Tell them you thank God for their friendship. Tell them how much they encourage you; how much comfort and joy they bring into your life!
Celebrate together and bask in the glow of the Holy Spirit wherever God’s people are gathered! That fellowship has the power to light up the night with joy! There is nothing like actually being together!
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
(Romans 15:5-6, ESV)