"According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it." Paul is talking here about how he started the church. Well, back in 1874, A.M. Bailey, the first appointed pastor, laid a foundation for a Methodist congregation in Willow Glen. Over the years, many pastors and lay people have built on that foundation. And in 2007, the campaign to renovate Woodhaven and Kohlstedt Hall began. As you know, the recession hit hard just as the campaign was getting underway, and that made it impossible for us to complete the project. Six years later, there's some new people, a new pastor, and at last, a new sense of possibility in the economy.
For a few centuries at least, the Christian Church was the counter-cultural movement in the Roman Empire. The Church completely redefined family. For perhaps the first time in history, people who were unrelated by blood were now sisters and brothers by faith. Reading these verses I got to thinking, if the church could redefine what family means in the first century, why can't we redefine it in the 21st century?
Looking back at life from the farthest limits of the sea, finally, we are able to see. And what we see is that all of those days spent complaining about the things we didn't have could've been much better spent giving thanks for the things we did have. And that's not all. We also see that the people who blessed us on our way are a lot more important than the people who hurt us along the way. We come to face the fact that everything we've ever done was made possible by gifts we were given, or to put it more theologically, by grace alone. When we get to that place at the farthest limits of the sea, whether it be in our 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's, or beyond, that's where gratitude is born.