As we approach Thanksgiving, I am reminded that gratitude nourishes our souls and expressing thanks, espe-cially in public ways, brings honor to our Lord and edifies our brothers and sisters in faith. In other words, it’s good for us and it pleases God when we give thanks.
We will take time as a congregation to express our gratitude during the Thanksgiving service on Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. (followed by fellowship over pie!). I hope you will be there and come ready to declare publicly God’s goodness in your life.
In the meantime, I want to share some ways I have seen God moving among us over the past year for which I am grateful. This begins with my gratitude for being called to preach God’s word and care for His people at Broadway. Serving among you is a blessing, and I thank God for each one of you.
I am also grateful for how our church cares for one another during times of hardship and loss. One of the greatest tests of fellowship is how people respond to needs. I witness, time after time, our congregation showing up, reaching out, praying and offering help when members of our church family face difficulty. Over the past year, we have seen more than our fair share of funerals, and I am grateful each time to witness people from our church comforting those who grieve. These expressions of love make a lasting impact on everyone who enters our doors, especially those who don’t have their own church home for support.
This fall, I am also giving thanks for how many of us are reading through the New Testament and at-tending the Immerse discussion groups. The Sunday morning and Wednesday evening gatherings have been lively, fruitful and encouraging. As we read scripture, especially alongside other believers, our spiritual lives grow deeper and our bonds of fellowship strengthen. Immerse has invited us to feed on God’s word, and we are discovering anew how nourishing it is.
I know I am not alone in also being grateful for our worship and music leadership during 2018. First, we were blessed by Carl Lindberg, and now Maggie Johnson has joined our staff as Worship Leader. Maggie brings a joyful spirit, strong musical ability and a heart devoted to Jesus. I give thanks for her ministry among us and for how God has raised up talented church members to help us worship each Sunday with voices, piano, guitar, bass, organ, harmonica, mandolin, box drum and all the technical expertise needed in the sound booth.
In addition, I offer thanksgiving to God for the gifts and energy He has given those who serve in leader-ship and administrative roles in the church. It’s not easy running an organization, especially when we desire to honor God with our decisions and day-to-day operations. We are blessed with many wise and dedicated people who keep Broadway running by overseeing finances, recruiting volunteers, planning events, maintaining property and equipment, and attending to the many other tasks that undergird our public ministry.
For all of these blessings, I am grateful to the people of Broadway, but even more, I give thanks and praise to God for supplying the needs of His church. This church, after all, belongs to Jesus and bears His name. He cares about what happens here and about all the people who pass through our doors. His Spirit abides with and among us, and we give thanks that God, in His grace and wisdom, calls us together as a church body. May He continue to bless us and enable us to serve the mission of Jesus Christ.