“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering
for he who promised is faithful.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,
not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some,
but encouraging one another and all the more
as you see the Day drawing near.”
Our God is a good God who knows what we need and provides it. The God who created us knows that we need a relationship with Him first and foremost. So He Himself provided the way through the death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus, who has redeemed us and reconciled us to God by the shedding of His very own blood. God also knows that as we live this life on earth, we need fellowship with one another.
All through the Bible, we see the importance God places on fellowship. In the Old Testament, the various festivals established by God started with worship and were to be followed by fellowship and the breaking of bread together by the Israelites. In the New Testament, in John 17, Jesus prays just before He is arrested and sacrificed on the cross. During that prayer, we see the importance He places on the unity of the believers when He prays that by the unity of believers the world will know that they belong to Him. In Acts 2:42, the first church is described as devoting themselves to the apostles’ teachings, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayers. The Apostle Paul continues to emphasize the importance of the body of believers in Romans 12 and in 1 Corinthians 12. God has lovingly provided for us through His body, the church. My husband and I know this to be true in our lives and are thankful to God in His provision to us through CFC.
When my husband and I first moved to Columbus in 1987, we had recently graduated from college, were newly married, and were heading into unchartered territories - me, into the corporate world and Mark into medical school. So much newness and all in a new city without the fellowship and comfort of the family of believers we had during our time at Miami University. We knew we needed a church family, and though we visited several, we were struggling to find the right fit for us. We were feeling pretty discouraged when we had a “chance” encounter with Mark’s high school German teacher who mentioned visiting a church that met at a school on Fishinger Rd.
I remember the man saying, “No, sorry, can’t remember the name of the church or the name of the school, but if we lived in Columbus, we would go back there!”
Mark and I thought we should try it.
So, being desperate, I looked up schools in the yellow pages (there was no google back then) and found Wellington School. I called and confirmed that they did indeed have a church meeting there on Sundays but didn’t know the time they met. So, Mark and I showed up early (funny to those who know us well) the very next Sunday and were greeted warmly by a young couple who asked us to sit with them, introduced us to other young couples, and told us we absolutely had to come to their Young Marrieds group that met on Sunday nights at the church office. Well the church office just happened to be behind our apartment! We went that very first night and knew that we had found our church home and a wonderful group of friends. God knew we needed this body of believers to help us grow in our faith, to encourage us and to come alongside us - and they did just that. In fact, one of the couples who impacted us greatly, lived right around the corner and would often just show up at our door just when we were struggling in our relationship and needed godly counsel!
We have been attending CFC for almost 28 years now, and in every season of our lives, God has used this body of believers to grow our faith, to show us grace, to encourage and support us, and to live life with us. The older women in the church prayed for me, taught me the Word of God, discipled me, and showed me by their example how to be a wife and mom. Because of their investment in my life, I have felt led to do the same for other women and am now one of the older women (gulp)!
We are truly thankful to God for providing us with this body of believers shepherded by a pastor who loves God and His Word and teaches us Truth with love, humility and grace. We love you, CFC - thanks for living out Christ’s will for His body!
Oh, and by the way, the reference for the passage from Hebrews 10 at the start of this snapshot - is the one engraved in our wedding rings!