This is the second of the devotionals published by First Baptist Church of Charleston for Say Something Nice Sunday. The month of June is Effective Communication Month.
Scripture Focus:
“… I know in whom I have believed and am persuaded He is able
to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”
— 2 Timothy 1:12
I grew up in a small mill village church surrounded by people
who loved me and wanted the very best for me. I participated
in every phase of church life. As a teenager, I sometimes was
the speaker. Over the years since I have visited churches and
cathedrals grand and small both in America and Europe. I have
experienced interpretations of the Bible that in my youth would
have been unthinkable and certainly unacceptable. These
experiences have provided richness to the Text and nuances
to its meaning; however, the basic tenants of the faith were so
soundly taught and lived before me that I am forever grateful to
that small congregation.
Those wonderful people encouraged my every faltering step.
They were quick to praise. They nourished their young people
in ways I have not experienced since. Questions didn’t seem to
bother them. These folks worked hard in the cotton mill every
day, but when Sunday came, they were in church praising God.
They certainly did not have much money, but they had generous
spirits. They loved to sing the old hymns and never grew tired of
their favorites. They did not allow the workplace relationships
with bosses to intrude on Sunday worship. At church every one
was equal. It was such a wonderful experience in my young life
that it has grounded me for all the years that followed.
The instruction and inspiration that I gained here has sustained
me through the shattering times in my life. I can still feel the
collective protective arms of that small church around me. They
taught me what love is and what Jesus loves means.
Prayer Focus:
Dear God, I am thankful to you for the church of my youth and
for those who set my feet on solid ground. Amen.