Bru is a crazy, brilliant, amazing guy I served with in youth ministry. Whenever Bru meets you, he spells your name backward in his head, just to see if it does something interesting. He's fun like that, so we put him in charge of introducing first-time visitors to youth group. We never knew what was going to happen
One week he handed out a piece of paper with a hole cut in it to each new person. He told them it was a knothole and asked each to hold the paper up to their face and peer through it. Why? Bru explained, "Because we are glad each of you are here, and we consider ourselves not whole without you."
We cringed at the pun, then admired the point. I often choose to come to youth group/church because it will be good for me. Or I can focus on God, because it is the right thing to do, to worship God. But Bru reminded each of us of a very important truth. When you don't show up to something, you are robbing everyone of something that is very important. You are robbing everyone of you. When you are not here, you may lose out, but so does everyone. We are not whole without you.
"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" (Hebrews 10:24-25).
My God, the only God, God of all things, there is no question that You are worthy of my worship and trust. I place my life in Your hands. You are my Lord and Savior, and all that I am, all that I do, I give to You.
You have changed my life, and have placed me into a community of others that You have touched, as well. May we grow close, learning to love unselfishly, sacrificially, like You, and may our love escape the walls of our church buildings and flood into the streets and neighborhoods of our towns and cities.