I recently wrote an article for the Duke Divinity School alumni magazine. The article is about one of my favorite times of the week -- our Wednesday Bible study group. It is a group filled with many of the church's longest serving members, many of whom are in their 80s and 90s.
This group demonstrated its incredible commitment and tenacity to me once again this week when they arrived to study the Bible in a church with no heat.
The gas was turned off a couple of months ago in preparation for our upcoming renovation project. We were supposed to be out of the church completely by the first of October -- before the cold temperatures arrived. However, a few things have been delayed, included the arrival of our office trailer.
Still, the people come, and they keep coming! On Wednesday, we kept our coats on while we read. We drank warm coffee. We ate breakfast breads. We experienced the incredible warmth of community. And, we were reminded again of how much we take for granted.
We have choices when it comes to being able to step inside from the cold -- choices that many of our neighbors do not have -- children of God who live all around us -- sleeping and gathering on the church's lawn and nearby parks throughout the cold winter months. We can get in our cars and turn the heat on. We can go home to our houses or apartments and turn the furnace on. We can get into a bed and cover our bodies with many blankets. Others, however, are relegated to a few boxes and whatever else they can find to cover their bodies through the night.
The gas man returned on Thursday to turn the gas back on at the church. The heat is flowing from the radiators throughout the sanctuary building. And, all are welcome to step inside and enjoy the warmth when Sunday arrives. I can almost guarantee you that warmth will flow not only from the radiators, but also from these amazing people who continue to allow me to bask in the light and the warmth of God whenever I am in their presence.