Really BEING the Body

8 Feb

In the Ebenezer pulpit yesterday we talked about really BEING the Body of Christ.  How it extends beyond our property lines.  How we are called to build the Kingdom of God alongside other like-minded people of our faith, such as Trinity Presbyterian across the way from us, and St Paul United Methodist, and so on …  At one point we were thinking about what it means to be a FAMILY at Ebenezer.  I went on a mini-tangent with NO IDEA that hours later I would see it unfold before my eyes!!

At Ebenezer, the word FAMILY … the very CONCEPT of FAMILY extends far beyond the nostalgic images the word FAMILY might conjure up in our hearts and minds.  It really does look a lot like the Acts 2 church.  When I wrote that sermon last week, I didn’t write that little mini-rant that came out of my mouth.  In fact, it was one of those things God put on my heart as I was in the pulpit.  It kind of came out at our 8:30 worship.  20 minutes after that worship service was over, I was standing in the Young SS Class room with a bunch of my friends learning that one of their member’s parents (who is ALSO a part of the EBC family) was missing.  It seemed some medical issues have clouded her judgment and she walked out of the house after everyone was asleep at some point the previous night or the next morning and no one knew where she was.  It struck home with me knowing how many times Dad tried to “escape” to get back to his three small children that lived in Greenville.  (That might’ve been the ONLY thing that was good about his being wheelchair-bound).

We prayed for that family in the 11:00 service, and afterward I watched Ebenezer mobilize.  We coordinated our efforts as best we could with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office.  I saw how God had the RIGHT person on point, the RIGHT person coordinating the map and people, and I saw tons of Ebenezer people join with others in our community and give up a Sunday because we were hoping to find this dear lady.  There were around 150 volunteers with feet on the ground, and somewhere between 75-100 were being routed from the EBC Family Life Center.

We searched.  We prayed.  As we drove to our different search areas, we scanned the woods and back yards.  We had no idea how long she had been out and knew it had been cold and rainy in the early morning hours.  In the afternoon, it was mostly cold and windy.  We started realizing we were running out of daylight and she might’ve been running out of time.

God blessed us with a happy ending.  Our dear friend wasn’t far away and she actually walked back up into the circus that was the search.  It was frightening but that moment was wonderful.

On the other side of it all when the adrenaline stopped pumping, I realized that I had JUST SEEN the words of my sermon come true.  NOT because of anything I did … But because of what GOD is doing in the midst of His people at Ebenezer.  And in other churches.  In the midst of His people in Florence, He did something incredible and amazing.  As hard a day as that was, I am thankful for the result.  And thankful to be part of a people who love each other as much as I saw yesterday.

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