The shelf was lined with boxes of fragrant teas. Herbal. Rooibos. Black. So many choices. One catches my eye: gingerbread tea. What does that taste like?
Another shelf is lined with mugs. A Polish plaid pottery mug. A cow mug. A monogramed mug. A finely painted tea cup. Just like the tea, each mug is unique and has a personality to match the mood of the tea drinker.
But more than the tea flavors and the mugs, the fellowship flowing around them is the sweetest part of the gathering. The smiles, the words, the community. The mugs warm chilled hands, but the conversation warms hearts.
Sampling tea is not the reason for the gathering, but rather the means to the object. The point is fellowship. Encouragement. Community. All because Christ first loved us.
Fellowship with believers is a beautiful thing. Godly friends walk alongside us throughout life. In community, we can share the burdens and the joys of life. We can share what we’re learning and the excitement of where God is taking us. Christians have something in common that is found in no other type of friendship: unity that comes from Jesus as we journey together through this life.
In Christ, we have the opportunity to be friends with many different people. I can befriend the 6th graders I teach in Sunday school. The business professional and the grad student who braved the 30 mile bike ride can be friends to encourage me along the way (if they can finish the ride, then so can I!). The retired couple from church who I talk with over chicken and ministry budgets can be friends. And so can the single, Christian girls my age who I invite over for dinner and delve into the challenges and blessings of singleness as we try not to topple the Jenga blocks after supper.
Each one encourages my heart uniquely. Each one provides sweet fellowship in my life. Each one makes my heart lean into Christ. Each one is a blessing.
Do you need to embrace the Christian community around you and perhaps invite a new friend over for tea? Or join a small group? Or call a friend you haven’t talked to in months? How have you been blessed by a friendship? I’d love to hear how God has used friendships in your life.