Working Towards 1 Thessalonians 3.12

Earlier this year my wife and I attended a “Dinner for 8” where she and I and six others sat down for a meal together.  Over the course of the meal I learned a lot about people whom I had really only known superficially before.  As part of the evening, our hosts had devised several probing questions for each of us to answer and share with one another, such as “What is one thing about you that nobody knows?” and “What is the most challenging thing about walking with God?”  We then got to discuss these questions and learn about one another. 

For instance, I had no idea that one of the people at our group was related to one of the baseball players featured in the movie “Field of Dreams.”  Another had almost died in a parasailing accident, and still another by being accidentally crushed by a refrigerator!  When it came to my turn, the people in my group were surprised to learn that I had attended a concert much earlier in life and been deemed the “best dancer” and was given a prize (I still don’t understand why that’s so surprising).  When it came to the question about challenges with walking with God, we discussed how living in America—the land of opportunity and freedom—can sometimes be a challenge to our spiritual walk.  It was a wonderful evening, and the two hours that we spent there went by in a flash. 

In 1 Thessalonians 3.12 Paul prays that the Thessalonian believers would “increase and abound in love for one another and for all…”  It has become very apparent to me that it is difficult to grow in love for my fellow believers if I don’t really know them that well, or if my only involvement in their lives is limited to a “How ya doing?” on Sunday mornings.  It's challenging to build significant relationships within the body if interaction takes place only on Sunday mornings.  In order to “increase and abound in love” for other people, I need to get to know them. 

Thankfully, Riverview has two very specific opportunities for us to be able to do just that.  A first round of Dinners for 8 was held earlier this year, and another round will be held this summer.  A group of eight people get together for a meal just to hang out and eat together.  Each group has a host who volunteers their home for the meal location, and the host provides the main dish and tells the other group members what to bring to share.  Groups are randomly selected, and the whole process is a lot of fun.  I highly recommend you consider joining a group.  Simply register through our church website to be included. 

A second opportunity to get to know your friends and family at Riverview is by attending our “Family Nights in the Park.”  Several Wednesday evenings this summer we’ll meet together for a potluck meal at 5:30 PM at Lorraine Park in South St. Paul.  It’s a perfect opportunity to sit down, relax, enjoy a great meal, and just get to know other people who are following Jesus.  I promise, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you learn, and blessed as you “increase and abound in love for one another, and for all.”