By the time you read this issue of The Banner, Thanksgiving will be past—long past, for those of you who celebrated the holiday in Canada. But I don’t want this season to slip by without telling you about the many people and ministries I’m thankful for this year. Here are a few of the things on my list:
The Christian Reformed Church in North America
For many of us, the Christian Reformed Church is the home of our spiritual formation. It’s where we came to know and serve the Lord. For lifelong and newer members, it’s the place where we worship, are nurtured, belong, and have the opportunity to serve.
I know the CRC isn’t perfect. We have much to learn, correct, and accomplish. But the Christian Reformed Church is, by the grace of God, the part of the worldwide church in which we live and breathe. Too often we notice the CRC’s shortcomings and overlook its wonderful life and vitality. It would be wrong to proudly elevate the CRC above other parts of the worldwide church, but at the same time we have so many reasons to be thankful for what we are and for the Reformed faith we proclaim in our life together.
Members of the Christian Reformed Church
Although we are members of a thousand different congregations, we are bound together in a covenantal relationship we call the CRC. Despite our personal shortcomings, collectively we are the body of Christ, and individually we are his disciples.
Among us are so many who seek to be faithful in their walk with God, who are kind and generous in supporting the causes of the kingdom, and who embody the values Christ taught us. There are so many good people in the CRC, and I am thankful for each and every one of them.
People Who Are Employed in CRC Ministries
Most CRC congregations have paid staff, full-time or part-time, who always do much more than their job descriptions would suggest. Without them all our ministries would falter, and I’m thankful for all they do.
Then there are those who devote their careers to the ministries of the church, at home or abroad, and who represent not only Christ himself, but all of us too. I’m also very thankful for the many people I rub shoulders with here at our denominational headquarters. There are so many talented and devoted servants among them, and giving thanks for them is a good and wholesome thing.
The People Who Lead and Serve the CRC
In this work I have lots of contact with people who serve as members of denominational boards and committees. People spend countless hours, mostly in a volunteer capacity, helping the church be the best it can be in the service of the Lord.
Yes, there are times when too much of that time is spent resolving conflicts, but on the whole it is a service rendered with love and devotion. For 36 years I have served on church councils and worked with and for denominational boards. As I reflect on the experiences that have come my way, I can only give thanks for the people God has placed on my path. To God be the glory!