I didn’t even catch it at first. But then it hit me, and all I could say to myself was ‘Thanks Lord!’
Recently, our church joined up with another local church (Eureka Bible) for a Good Friday service. As part of that service, myself and elders from each church served communion to the believers who had gathered. The way it worked out with the aisles and rows, I ended up only serving the communion elements to one particular family.
I have known this family since I was in middle school. As of this blog post writing, that puts me knowing them for the past 32 years. They have been faithful members and servants at Eureka Bible for all those years. Of greater significance to me though, is that the Lord providentially put them in my life during those middle school years, into my high school years, and to present day.
I didn’t become a Christ follower until my junior year in high school, and the Lord used them and their family (and others), to show me what faith in Christ looked like in real life. They were ambassadors for the Lord to me. They were witnesses to me. I was close friends with their son, and so that connection led me to spend a lot of time in their home. While in their home, I got exposed to the Good News through both their words (prayers before meals, family devotionals, conversations, music) and through their way of life.
Since I have known them, they have had a conviction that a Christ follower is to make disciples. Now of course, I didn’t know they had such a conviction when I was in middle school or high school. But now, looking back I see it in full view. I see how they and their son, who remains a good friend to this day, invited me to church gatherings, student events, concerts, FCA meetings, and most importantly, into their home. In the rear view mirror, as I look back on those days, I see their intentionality and love.
The phrase ‘full circle’ is defined as this: through a series of developments that lead back to the original source, position, or situation or to a complete reversal of the original position.
As I drove away from the Good Friday service, this is what I thought, “Wow…there’s a full circle moment right there.” As a kid, I would sometimes visit their church, and I’m sure imperishable, Good News seeds were planted on those visits. And here, over 3 decades later, I’m preaching the Good News from the platform, and better yet, serving communion to a family who the Lord used to bring me to Himself. I’m serving bread and juice, that remind us of the Good News to, now, a brother and sister in Christ. I’m offering symbols of the Good News, to people who offered the Good News to me years ago.
God is forever good, faithful, and at work in our lives. And I’m forever thankful. To Him be the glory alone!
Have you had one of these ‘full circle disciplemaking’ moments?
I pray that when these moments happen in our lives, when we encounter those who served as Christlike witnesses to us, both before knowing the Lord and after knowing Him, that our hearts might fill with gratitude. And our mouths might express thanksgiving both to the Lord and to the faithful disciplemakers that He has used in our lives for our good and His glory.