Does anyone remember that TV show Cheers that was on years ago ? I marveled at that show , not because it was centered around a Boston bar but because of the brilliance of the writers. Anyone who watched Cheers any length of time ( which I admit to being a fan at the time ) would concur that the wit and comedy of the show's writers at that time was basically second to none. It became a hit because of that one factor - the laughs that were brought on by the one liners of the characters. I am not certain that at my age and status of wisdom ( ha ha - NOT ) now, that I would be as faithful as a viewer today as I was when I was much younger ...if for no other reason than the whole story is centered on a bar. Something that I will never forget though is one particular line in the opening theme song ...the line said " Where everyone knows your name " - the thought being that " CHEERS" , the Boston bar in that show was a place of comfort because after all....if you were a regular there, everyone knew your name and welcomed you when you walked in.

I have a place like that in my life too ....my church. I have to concede that while everyone doesn't know my name, nor do I know everyone else's name, there are a whole bunch who know me and I know them. When I walk in, scores of people greet me by my name. I'm not a stranger there, I am known. I am part of a FAMILY...and that is how it should be.

The world in which we live can be a cold, hard place. The culture in which my husband and I find ourselves is like a strange and foreign land to us. We differ on so much of what is accepted in our culture that when we walk out of our front door, we literally feel as though we are stepping on to a foreign mission field and you know what ? - we are.

When we know Christ as Savior , everything changes. The whole world looks different and we come to realize that this is not our home. It is so true that we are just passing through ...until we reach our real home in heaven. Just as our earthly family needs a home , a place of refuge, a soft place to fall ....a place we call home , so do believers. What is our dwelling place where we come together, help each other, love each other, lean on each other as believers ?

It is our CHURCH ! 

Who comes together in our church ? Our church family !!!

I saw this truth in action last night. Many in our church family came together last night to rally behind, to love, to support one of our members of our family. Within twenty-four hours notice, about 200 folks showed up to show their love for one of the family who is fighting an illness and going through a diffiuclt time. We all knew her name, and she knew ours. We aren't strangers, we are brothers and sisters in the Lord.

I think weird thoughts sometimes and perhaps this is one of them , but I have often thought of that goofy theme song to that show and that one line ...." WHERE EVERYONE KNOWS YOUR NAME " - but instead of thinking of a bar , I think of my church and how utterly grateful I am for it. We are not a perfect church because such a thing doesn't exist. Yes, we are a place filled with hypocrites because people are just that ....all hypocrites to one degree or another although that is not our desire to be such.  However a church is not a museum of pristine pieces but a hospital for sick people ...which all of us are. Which is also is why we need Christ.

Recently I brought a newly saved friend to church and she was so startled at how so many people there knew each other. She loved the closeness and connection that she observed was present between so many folks there. That is how it is supposed to be and how God wants it. It is our soft place to fall :)

Last night was just a blessing to me because it reminded me once again of the beauty of the local church. It cannot be matched , neither can it be replaced. Sometimes we lose sight of that.

 Your church family .....do you appreciate it ? Are you thankful for it ?  Are you part of one ?

 Hope your answer to all three of those questions is YES, YES, and YES

 It makes all the difference :)