The songs we sing at Sabbath services each week reflect our praise and worship of God and His family. For example, a psalm titled, “One Faith, One Love,” found in the United Church of God, an International Association’s hymnal on p. 171, reflects our belief that God is a family. Each person in a family may have a different story about how their lives have unfolded; some youth may be part of a complete family composed of father, mother and children, while other families have missing family members.
In the psalm “One Faith, One Love,” the word “one” has much depth in its meaning. It can describe a single thing, or a group or team as a unit of one. The composer who wrote the hymn text “One Faith, One Love,” uses words like woven, blended and joined, which can describe our desire to fulfill our lifelong journey as a unified, close-knit family. Families are aware of others’ needs, allowing everyone in the family—from teens to senior citizens—to reach their destination.
Was there a time when we needed to share our problems, or when someone else needed to share theirs? Later, perhaps after everything worked out and the problem was resolved, we felt closer to those that we shared with. When we are in tune (agreed) so that we sound like only one instrument is playing instead of several instruments, or one voice is singing, then we are in harmony and unity with each other!
An ongoing connection
The vision statement of the United Church of God is “a Church led by God’s Holy Spirit, joined and knit together by what every member supplies, with all doing their share and growing in love to fulfill God’s great purpose for humanity to bring many children to glory (Ephesians 4:16 Ephesians 4:16From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body to the edifying of itself in love.
American King James Version×; Hebrews 2:10 Hebrews 2:10For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
American King James Version×).”
Think of this like a family, perhaps doing the physical work needed on farms, orchards or large gardens to provide for their food and income. Everything is shared—both responsibilities and rewards. Only by working together for a common goal and looking out for the needs of each other could a family farm be successful.
As members of the Body of Christ, we should look out for the needs of others. Those experiencing difficult moments—such as our senior citizens who might need extra care and attention at this time in their lives—are people we can be on the lookout for. Look for ways to volunteer at church, school or at home. Help people—young and old—to smile and give them encouragement.
Those who have gone before us have left a mark in the earth where the grass is worn, or the dirt is deeper from the many worn shoes which have passed that way before us. Do we learn or observe the lessons of others that encourage us and make our tasks easier? Do we have joy and comfort knowing that others will be joining us, walking right beside us, as we begin to realize that we are not alone on the path? The journey may be a wet, muddy, bumpy path with painful stickers and many tall weeds which sometimes slow us down. When we look beyond such obstacles to where there will be a world in which individuals and families are united, then remember this vision and what all of us can do to help spread great joy.
Work or play—being together helps us see the big picture
Considering the fact that we are all on a journey to the same destination, what can we do about it? Anyone—including those who might not have a traditional family—can share the history of their lives with others. Some ways to do this include asking your parents if you can invite others to join various activities or a meal. Or perhaps, you can take a moment of time in your busy day to do a random act of kindness such as making a phone call or sending an email (or even that paper, stamp and envelope process sometimes called snail mail) to someone who may not have much family. Another idea might be to mark your calendar for a specific day each month to try and do something special for someone that day.
Those who have gone before us have left a mark in the earth where the grass is worn, or the dirt is deeper from the many worn shoes which have passed that way before us.
Such actions can help someone feel close to you and leave them feeling encouraged! We have a short stay here on earth when viewed in the enormity of the awesome eternity of God—make the most of every day! Many of these things do not take a lot of time. Below are some simple things you can do—along with some things to avoid—in order to help make someone feel included and bring a smile to their face:
Encourage By Being Positive
- Send a card of encouragement
- Say I love you
- Offer a snack or drink
- Hold a door open
- Allow someone to go first
- Share a picture
- Seek God
Avoid a Crisis—Don’t Be Negative
- No action
- Leave the room
- Be selfish
- Be in a hurry
- Be pushy
- Ignore helpful advice
One person can make a difference
By doing some of these simple things, you might be surprised at the opportunities it presents to get to know others. Once you know a little more about them and their lives, you can really begin to make a difference. In addition, you can encourage others to reach out with their talents such as woodworking, photography or drawing. Remember to include many words of joyful compliments.
Choose your path carefully and ask others to go with you on your journey! Use your talents and abilities and share ideas with your friends and family. If you need help, pray about it, talk to your parents and remember to ask, seek and knock—God loves to hear from His children (Matthew 7:7 Matthew 7:7Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you:
American King James Version×; Luke 11:9 Luke 11:9And I say to you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.
American King James Version×)! CC