In Dale's Words

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Sign Here Please

Nehemiah 9:38   The people responded, "In view of all this, we are making a solemn promise and putting it in writing. On this sealed document are the names of our leaders and Levites and priests."


Within two years of our marriage, Andree and I had put together enough money for a down payment on our first house. Buying a house, for me anyway, was more unnerving than any other purchase agreement I had signed. I had a steady job. Andree was working part-time. Then the little purple stick told us that a baby was coming sooner than later. We did the math, came to terms with what this would cost us, and dove head-first into home ownership. I smiled confidently for my wife, gave her solid reassurances, but inside I was scared to death. Did I have what it would take to fulfill the commitment?

I think we can all agree that making promises are serious things. They can expose our character to the world. And yet, it is in making such commitments that we are tested and grown. This weekend, we as a church reaffirm our annual call to membership in the local body of CFC. It can be an intimidating thing to pledge your allegiance to any covenant. This is why we take some weeks to consider it. As we see in the book of Nehemiah, the people of God had long forsaken His law. When they finally heard the Word of God read again, they were moved to tears by their failures and, perhaps even more, by the loyal love of their great God. He had not forsaken them, and we see this time and time again. Given the opportunity once more, and after years of captivity and waste, the people gather to sign their names in pledge of obedience to God.

As you consider your part in the body of Christ, remember that to be a Christian is to be joined in community somewhere locally. And remember, unlike our home-buying experiences, we are not taking a deep breath this weekend and saying, "OK, here goes! I'll give this a shot." Rather, we must come to this commitment not in our own strength but mainly in response to the loyal love given by our faithful Redeemer. He will help us. This is how we come to our reaffirmation of membership, insufficient in ourselves and imperfect in our community. We reaffirm what God has offered to us -- the great, mighty, awesome, loyal-loving God -- in hope that we will be the best representation of His grace and work in the world. So take some more time before you arrive this weekend and consider your response. If this is the local community where you call home, let it be known by your commitment.