March 11, 2007 was one of my favorite days ever. It was the day that our son was born. Only 31 weeks along, a spike in Kimberly’s blood pressure indicated that (though it seemed early) it was “TIME” for Josh to be born.
And so, early on that Sunday morning, all 3 pounds of Josh cried out as he came out into the world. What a blessing it was to meet our son for the first time. As is the case for many “preemies,” Josh was a bit small and under-developed to leave the hospital with Kimberly and I, so for the next month and a half, he lived in the NICU of Children’s Hospital. Doctors assured us through all of those anxious moments that Josh would indeed “grow up” to be big and strong . . . and they were right! As I write this today, Josh is finishing up sixth grade: active, strong . . . and still growing!
Josh grew, not because the doctors injected him with Captain America’s super-serum. He grew because he was DESIGNED TO GROW. All of us are. The natural progression of every human is to grow up. The role of doctors and nurses in the NICU (as well as parents in the home) is not to program someone to grow, but simply cultivate the right climate so that the growth cycle that is programmed inside of each person is allowed to run its course.
I say this today because I am preparing for Sunday morning May 26 at Wildwood, where we will be looking at Ephesians 4:7-16 together in our fourth and final installment in our series on “The Church.” This week we will see how God has created the church TO GROW. Not just in number, but in maturity. How does that growth happen? It happens through the work of the Spirit, but this work is cultivated by spiritual leaders that God has given to the church: men and women (like you and me) that Jesus has “gifted” to congregations all over the world for the purpose of overseeing, shepherding, and encouraging followers of Jesus to grow up into maturity in Him – our Head and living hope.
We will look at this concept together this Sunday in our 9:45 and 11:00 services together. We will also be praying for those who are going on summer mission trips and celebrating the Lord’s Supper together. We look forward to seeing you on Sunday at Wildwood as we kick off the summer together!