Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Message Mary Hendricks, Central Elementary Teacher

Love Is Belonging

“…Anyone who gives you a cup water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.”

Mark 9: 41

Love generates belonging, a sense of family, participation, being included, wanted, accepted. Because I am loved, I will gradually become more loveable and loving, more accepting, including of others, relaxed, available.

Lord of Love, give me a quiet confidence that radiates acceptance.

One thing God has spoken, two things that I have heard: that you, Oh God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving. Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done.

Psalm 62: 11 -12

Our society calls out to us that we need to possess many expensive belongings. We need to own the most updated cell phones, iPods, computers, super cars, and extravagant dream homes. Sadly, many people over the past couple of years have had to readjust their priorities from what they might want to possess to what they can realistically afford to possess.

In our Christian community, throughout this financial crisis, we have known that our greatest possession is the firm foundation of the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. Knowing beyond any doubt that we belong to Jesus and we are part of his family is the greatest possession that we can ever know in this world and in the next.

As a young child I learned that I was blessed to belong to a large family with my parents, brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, who loved me unconditionally just because I was related to them.

When I was about eight years old, I was adopted into another family who shared the Lord with me and taught me how much Jesus loved me by the way they accepted and included me in their Church family. They were a group of believers who shared Jesus with their community by taking children to Sunday school on a rickety old school bus. My brother and I enjoyed that Sunday bus ride for many years.

Those amazing Christian people from that small Free Methodist Church in Harvey, Illinois knew that by sharing the love of Jesus right where they lived, they would spread the gospel message far beyond their church doors. Their greatest possessions were their faith and far reaching love for others.

Daily, as I teach my fourth graders about the love of Jesus and His acceptance of each one of them, I am assured that these precious children will carry this message far from the doors of Phoenix Christian Unified Schools, unto the farthest corners of the earth. I am confident that they will shout to the world that the greatest riches are the acceptance and love of Jesus and the promise of living in His family for all of eternity. This is my sincere prayer for all of our children.

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