From Kelly Kohler
I loved how in today's reading Paul couldn't leave without showing his love to the disciples. Then he spent a couple months with the churches he had established earlier "speaking many words of encouragement" to his fellow followers of Christ. He invested in people. He took time to cultivate friendships and continued to show his love for those communities as he traveled.
I know this time of year can be hard with people finishing degrees or fellowships and friends and families moving. I know all too well how challenging it can be to transition to a new place or a new phase of life.
And in general, summer can be a little rough because of the lack of routine from no school or traveling for vacations. We end up missing regular connections with people that are usually a source of truth and support.
I praise God for Church of the Cross's commitment to being intentional and fostering friendships! I pray that we continue to grow deeper in community with one another and embody biblical kindness and encouragement.
It used to seem much easier to spend time with people we care about, especially when we have friends who we see a lot in our neighborhoods, in class, or at work. But more often than not it can be hard to carve out a couple hours to get to know someone new or catch up with old friends. Our schedules fill up quickly with work and school and kids and volunteering and allthethings. We have to plan phone dates and schedule coffee 2-3 weeks in advance...
This past week I've been *practicing* being intentional about my relationships with friends from UCF and the LGBTQ community. I went to college in Orlando. I knew someone at Pulse and know many people who were affected by the tragedy. Although I moved away 9 years ago?! and lost touch with a lot of folks, I have been inspired by the way the community and the church have come together to encourage and support old colleagues, friends, strangers, children of God. And I pray that as a church, as Christians, we will be known not only for our commitment to truth, but also for our extravagant love toward all of our neighbors.
Heavenly Father, we are so grateful for your abounding love and faithfulness. Thank you for friendships and for community. Direct our steps to walk in your truth and help us to show loving kindness to people we encounter today as you have so graciously shown us.
I'm a Florida girl turned Tarheel slowly getting the hang of life in New England. I do global cancer prevention research in Longwood and love all combinations of chocolate and peanut butter.