“The LORD your God is in your midst, A mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by his love; He will exult over you with loud singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17 ESV)
I shared this verse at a recent Young Life Capernaum donor appreciation dinner. The theme of the night was “Made in His Image,” and I had been asked to share some qualities of God that I see in my Capernaum life group friends (young adults with special needs). Especially after Kirsten’s awesome interview this past Sunday – talking about how she got involved in Capernaum and just how much we all need community in our faith – I wanted to share my thoughts with you.
I picked this verse immediately because I always feel welcomed when I go to life group** or in any outing we attend together. I’ve felt delighted in from the very first time I attended life group, before we even got to know each other. I see their delight in each other, and in God. I feel their sometimes quiet, sometimes exultant love for the Lord. They are all on different journeys, of course, but their faith in the midst of challenges strengthens my faith amidst my challenges.
I love the gladness, the laughter when we’re together, a way to connect with each other. And the love is contagious. I love seeing Kirsten going up to someone who wasn’t there the last time, saying “I’ve missed you, my friend! Where were you?” She’s so encouraging; she notices people, and I love that about her. She’s a good role model for me.
The verse finishes, “He will exult over you with loud singing.” And that is true as well when we in life group worship God in song. Kent does a great job in leading us with his guitar and the songs he picks for us to sing together. I think everyone in our group loves to sing, and for a lot of us, the louder the better!
Christine not only goes to life group, but I also get the privilege of sitting with her each Sunday in church. She’s grown up at Creekside. We’ve become good friends ever since we went to a Thunderbird hockey game together the first year that Doug and I were called to Creekside. I love to sing worship songs, hear the beautiful harmonies. I mean, our church sounds good! When Christine and I are singing together, it’s a different kind of worship. She knows every word and, when we are standing together, maybe linking arm and arm, she sings out with gusto. We aren’t necessarily the most harmonic people singing, but I always feel God smiling down on us when we sing together. God has his hand on precious Christine, and I can almost see it. He’s got plans for good for her and for her family, and I think of these things sometimes when we sing together.
One last person I’ll mention – although I could write many pages about each friend in Capernaum – is a young man named Jeffrey. Each time we all get together, we pray for each other, for any special concern on our hearts. I love it when Jeffrey prays for someone. Many times he’ll start out by mentioning the person’s name, and then start praying the Lord’s Prayer, which we all pray with him. And then, especially if the person is dear to him, he says, “And I’d just like to say, Welcome to the family. Amen.”
It makes the person feel loved, and we who are praying alongside feel like we are in a Holy Spirit-inspired moment. One of my personal passions is prayer, so I’ve been on a number of wonderful prayer teams at churches including Creekside, and when we were full-time with Church Resource Ministries. I love praying with people who are seeking the heart of God. But I am so blessed to be part of our Capernaum life group, and especially when we pray together, we can almost feel and hear the heartbeat of God. “Welcome to the family!”
*Come visit! We meet the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays, 6:00-8:00 PM, in the Creekside Education building. Bring a sack dinner.
Kelly can be reached via email.