Friday, July 20, 2012

Pleasant Grove Baptist Church

Last weekend I had an incredible privilege. Jamie and I were invited to a visit a small country church in Herring, West Virginia. Not only did we have the incredible privilege of visiting this space, but also, I was invited to share the message last Sunday. Last Sunday wasn't our first visit to the church, but it was really encouraging to see the growth of the congregation since our first visit. We were welcomed with open arms, and it was cool to listen to the people who make up this congregation share their lives with one another.

As I walked forward to share, I began thinking about the generations of people who had gathered here before. On the front of the church is a sign that celebrated 100 years of this church's presence in the community. The church building was erected in 1891. That's over 120 years of faith-filled families gathering in this space. I realized as I walked forward, that I had never shared in a church that old. I thought about how there just aren't many buildings at all in the United States that have been around that long. I thought about the level of care that I witnessed the people had for each other in this space. And then I thought about the tombstones outside the church that were a visible reminder of many of those who were part of this church in previous generations.

What an incredible legacy. In our culture today, so much emphasis is placed on what is new and trendy, and I have to say that it is incredibly refreshing to step into a space that has been filled with generations of stories and memories.

May we each take time to think about the stories we will leave behind in the places and spaces we inhabit. May we fill these spaces with life and love!

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