I am reminded of the verse in John 13:35 New International Version (NIV) which says “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
I have been stuck by how evident this has been since coming to Hillcrest Baptist Church. The recent Church Camp emphasised this verse even more.
For me Church camp was not what we had hoped. Amy had been involved with organising the camp and we both were looking forward to spending an extended period of time together and with our new church family, getting to know them better. Then Disaster struck in the form of Stephanie being very ill with a tummy bug. This meant that we could not bring her to camp and only one of us could be at camp at any one time.
As Amy was going to be involved with the night worship and the camp concert, I was not expecting to get much out of the little time i would have at camp.
But as it says in Isaiah 55, “my ways are not your ways”.
I was blown away by the love that I received from everyone. From people asking after Stephanie and Amy, being included in playing basketball Adults v Youth, and listening to some amazing talks during the sessions. The genuine love and care was astonishing. I have not felt so loved by others since coming to NZ six years ago.
My challenge to us all is this: how can we show Gods love to someone new today. Talk to someone different. Invite someone to lunch. Encourage Someone.
You never know how much a friendly smile or hello can change a person’s life.