With school back in session, we adopt a different type of routine, and cherished summer activities, although hard to relinquish, are now just memories. Labor Day weekend is one more opportunity to gather with family and friends, have a cookout, stay up late on a Sunday night, or have a long weekend camping trip.
I remember Friday nights as a boy. Family and friends would gather around the piano and as the sun was setting we would sing songs. What joy it was to sing praises to God together! Many Friday nights when it was just my parents, brother and I, we still gathered around the piano. Mom played as us men sang. One of our favorite songs, “Precious Memories,” would often conclude with dad crying (sometimes mom). Afterwards, we’d make a long distance phone call to a cousin, aunt, uncle or other relative that we hadn’t heard from in a long time. Or if it wasn’t a relative, it was to call a family from a previous church dad had pastored.
Precious memories are sweet, both in the family and in the church. Sometimes it is easy to get disconnected. Life comes in, we get busy and we get in a solitude of our own making. How can we overcome this? It starts by remembering that we are created in God’s image. We have the power of choice and the ability to choose to make a difference. We can recall the words of Jesus who said, “By this will all men know that you are my disciples if you have love one for another.” Seventh-day Adventist Christians should be the most loving people on the face of the earth. Wouldn’t it be great if the media would exclaim “behold how they love one another.” (It wouldn’t have to be the media, maybe just your neighbor noticing.)
Where can you start? How can you choose to do differently? Maybe invite someone over to watch Thursday evening Sabbath School on Hope TV. Maybe take a pot of soup over to a widower or widow. Maybe take your children to visit a shut-in. I’m told evenings are lonely, Friday evenings are REALLY lonely and Sabbath afternoons are l-o-n-g. Maybe invite some over to gather around the piano and sing.
There’s a lovely song written by Gloria Gaither that says in the chorus, “It’s loving God, loving each other, Making music with my friends; Loving God, loving each other, And the story never ends.” Isn’t that beautiful? One stanza goes like this, “We tend to make it harder, Build steeples out of stones, Fill books with explanations of “the way;” But if we’d stop and listen, And break a little bread, We would hear the Master say...” and back to the chorus.
Being a Christian or follower of Jesus doesn’t need to be complicated. Simply love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind and love your neighbor as yourself. Love God! Love others. This makes sweet, sweet music.