by Jeff Brown on July 08, 2022
September 30, 2022
Growing up, I was incredibly blessed to have a close-knit group of friends. Think “Stand By Me” combined with “The Sandlot,” meets “The Little Rascals.” There was always a sport to be played or an adventure to be had. To this day, though we see each other less often than any would like, these friendships endure.
Perhaps because of this blessing, one of my favorite stories from the New Testament is when the paralytic is lowered through the roof by his friends so that he might be blessed and healed by Jesus (Mark 2:1-12, Luke 5:17-26, Matthew 9:1-8). I can just imagine these friends arriving at the house, and upon seeing the crowd, knowing there was no way they could just walk up and be near Jesus. They probably looked at each other until one broke out in a mischievous grin and proposed: “Dude! We could lower him through the roof!” Ignoring the stares of others and the alarmed look on their paralyzed friend’s face, they set off on their escapade, and of course we know how the story ends.
Not only did the paralytic man benefit from the friendship of these men, but we do as well. Generations have learned about friendship, community, and Christ’s mercy and compassion because of the faith these men from Capernaum displayed and their commitment to one another. That’s the nature of friendships: they usually bless many more than just the friends themselves, with the blessings continuously branching out to others because things like joy, kindness, and love are infectious.
This is what Central means when we say that “connecting” is one of the ways we go about seeking the transformation of our lives, our communities, and the world through the work of Jesus. By encouraging, supporting, and caring for one another, others are drawn in and the gospel goes out. God uses these friendships, these connections, as vehicles to transport his message beyond our walls.
How have you been blessed through the ways you have connected here at Central? To praise the Lord for using even our imperfect relations with one another as part of his good and perfect plan, we invite you to tell your story in a simple and easy way. Each Sunday in July, we will be taking photos outside the Fellowship Hall near Classrooms A & B. Stop by and on a small sign, finish the sentence “When I connected, God…”
Have you grown as a disciple of Jesus? Did the Lord carry you through a difficult time? Maybe you have made new friends? Have your children found community outside of their school? These are but a few of the countless ways God connects us as a community and then blesses his people through that community.
We’ll also be taking photos for myCentral, so if you would like to update your profile please stop by! We can’t wait to see your smiling faces.