People Matter in Jacksonville Presbyterian ChurchA friend was telling me that when he first came back to the church as a young married adult , they weren’t sure about this church thing. He was especially skeptical, and he used to say things like, I believe in God not the institution. But he was having a hard time in his marriage, so he thought they should go – just to test the waters but not jump in.

The problem was they were trying to do this in a small church, and it’s kind of hard to hide out in a small church. When one of the students asked them to come help with the youth group, they couldn’t say no.

Later, he told me, looking back on those moments – hanging out on Friday nights eating pizza with a bunch of teenagers – helping them think about dating, and colleges, and sports and how God fit into all of that – made him think about his life – how God fit into his marriage, his work and relationships.

Over the course of time, through these young people who he grew to know and love, he came to realize that the church is so much more than an institution. It is people – people who love God and who are trying to love this world God made.

I pray today that you would have a group of people to walk with you on this journey of faith.

Let us pray: Loving God, we realize that we can’t make it alone for very long in life. We need you, and we need others. We also realize that relationships are often demanding. They require forgiveness and love. So today we ask for an extra measure of your grace. Help us do the hard work of connecting deeply with other people who are also on the journey of faith. Grant us patience, and open hearts. Through them, may we experience your compassion, your hope, and your joy. Amen.

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