I'm teaching that Bible study tonight that I worked on last week. We're studying the book of Colossians, and the lesson for tonight is on chapter 2, verses1-5. In verse 2 of that chapter, the Apostle Paul says, "I want you to be encouraged and knit together by strong ties of love." I feel like that's exactly what's happening with this journal. I can't wait each day to come to this page and read your comments. They encourage me, and they show me that I am loved, and I have a group of family and friends who are knit together by strong ties of love. But not as much as I hope you will be.
Paul wanted two things for the people in the church at Colossae (an ancient city in modern day Turkey). He wanted them to be: 1. Encouraged and 2. Knit together by strong ties of love. It's obvious why it's better to be encouraged than discouraged. If you're discouraged, you want to give up. If you're encouraged, you want to keep going. But what about being knit together with strong ties of love? The modern translation of the Bible that most evangelical Christians use today, the New International Version, translates the Greek word for knit together as united. Other translations (and there are LOTS of them, FYI) translate it knit together. I like knit together better. Guess why? Because it indicates that Someone is doing the knitting.
Since my wife and I moved to Denver, Colorado in 1978, we live far from our families. So my family in Illinois and Sharon's in Michigan and Florida don't really know our friends here in Denver, and vice versa. Heck, we have close friends here who don't know each other. My hope is that somehow, over the course of this process, that will change. My prayer is that your love for us will become love for each other because of your mutual bond with Sharon and me. You encourage us, and we want you to be knit together by strong ties of love.
Note: This was originally posted November 5th, 2015. Today is February 18th, 2016. I can testify that what I hoped for has happened. People who had no knowledge of one another before this now interact in the comments of my journal. My family knows my friends by name for the first time. It's incredible what's happened. Keep reading.