In the Deep Mid-Winter


by Greta Smith, Administrative Assistant of Community Life

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 12.34.29 PMIn case you haven’t noticed, the winter is looking long….and snowy…..and cold…..and snowy. What to do now? The holidays are behind us, the decorations are packed away, the New Year’s resolutions are already yesterday’s news, and maybe your favorite team didn’t win the Super Bowl (did anyone get those commercials?!?).

How do you spend these long winter days? What keeps you from vegging out in front of the TV or laptop? For you, maybe it’s skiing. A continuing ed class, perhaps. Vacationing in a warmer climate sound appealing? What might this season of hibernation inspire you to do? Something new and different?

When we take a step away from constant activity and listen for how God is speaking into our lives, it’s amazing what inspirations He brings to mind. Mine came in the form of a book/study guide that crossed my path. I knew that I wanted to read and also share it with a gal pal who I thought would also enjoy it. That brief inspiration turned into a quick conversation and firm commitment to do the study together.

She would provide the house and warm, fuzzy blankets to curl up in; I would provide the K-Cups; we would share in food prep. Our study has turned into my most favorite part of this long, cold winter. Sharing a simple meal of hot soup and a light salad in my friend’s toasty warm home, curling up with our blankets and Bibles and digging into God’s Word, and of course snacking on brownies (we have to have chocolate, right?) and coffee, while the snow falls outside the window. “Doing life” together in the form of a compact, two-person, unofficial “LifeGroup”. Who knows what will happen when we complete this study. Will we do another? Invite another friend or two? Possibly. We’ll see what God has in mind for us and follow His lead from there.

“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” Matthew 18:20

Gathering together to pray, encourage, and study God’s Word within a small gathering of friends truly nourishes us. If you’re a little hesitant to jump into a LifeGroup, then take a baby step. Start with one or two of your friends. Keep it casual. Meet at a coffee shop. In your “man cave”. Just take that step. Do it. Or go ahead and walk through the open door of a larger LifeGroup. Pick up a copy of our LifeGroup booklet in the foyer to see what’s happening in and around your community. What do you have to lose? There’s no time like the present to gather around hearth and home, hang with old friends, make some new ones, and replenish our hearts and minds with God’s word.

It’s beyond cold outside…..but there’s warmth in the Word and within a community of believers that comforts and lifts the spirit like nothing else. Isn’t it time?