Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | November 11, 2021


“Luke, the beloved physician, sends you his greetings, and also Demas. Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea and also Nympha and the church that is in her house.”  Colossians 4:14-15

Last year (and oh, what a year it was) the Fall brought really big changes for the Smith family. Our older son had just gotten married in July and lived a couple hours away (still in Virginia like us). Then, our younger son moved to North Carolina in October. So, before my husband and I packed up and relocated to Florida, we decided to have an early Thanksgiving—we called it “Smithsgiving”—since we would be separated for the actual holiday. It was wonderful.

I say all that because this year (which also brought lots of changes, shocking) we will not be with any family. Instead, we’ll celebrate a “Friendsgiving,” with our newfound community here in Florida. I only became acquainted with this term a few years ago, when people I knew said they were having Thanksgiving with friends in lieu of family (for a variety of reasons). Isn’t this awesome? Taking a holiday that has the potential to bring some negative emotions and turning it into a celebration of gratefulness for “created family”—it’s definitely worthy of its own moniker.

As the Apostle Paul wraps up his encouraging letter to the Colossians, he sends out lots of “greetings”—his own and from Luke and Demas—to their brothers and sisters in Christ, both in Colossae and in nearby Laodicea. These greetings tie a bow on one of his letter themes: that believers are to have unity—and community—with one another. Through our Christian love, we are strengthened in our faith and, through this love, we also demonstrate our faith to unbelievers.

Paul is reminding us, through his greetings to groups of people he hasn’t even met before, that we’re to be intentional about forging our unity. Through Jesus Christ, we are family. And our respective church communities are a great place to start in creating believer-family circles. As God’s Word exhorts, we are to rejoice for each other and mourn with one another (Romans 12:15). We’re to not give up meeting together (Hebrews 10:25), and we’re to sharpen each other’s faith (Proverbs 27:17). This is what families of Christians do.

So, whether or not you have parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, etc. with whom you visit regularly and celebrate holidays, we are called to create family among other believers. Have you? Maybe you can start this coming Thanksgiving by inviting some friends to join your table, creating some grateful unity. Better yet, find someone at church who may not have any circle to join this holiday. Pouring out your Christian love in this way is sure to fill you up.

“Heavenly Father, thank You for the unity among believers. Thank You that through Christ, we have family with whom we can celebrate, mourn, and grow.”

For His Glory


Julianne Winkler Smith
TRBC Women’s Ministry


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