BY JO BETH HOLLAND BOYLES |
We will have fellowship, in all sincerity, with children of God in other Christian churches, and will carefully avoid all disputes respecting opinions and ceremonies peculiar to one or another church. In this fellowship we will cooperate with other churches in the support of public charities or Christian enterprises, which have a just claim upon us as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.- The Moravian Covenant for Christian Living
As I pondered what the Lord would have me to share, I discovered that I had writer’s block. After prayer and reflection, I understood it was fear that my words would offend, divide instead of uniting as Our Father calls us to be.
Facebook often inspires me with genealogy tips, recipes, devotionals, Bible Verses, and quotes. I am able to keep up with my scattered kin. Pictures of pets, sunsets, babies all give me joy. Prayer request for health and thanksgiving cause me to stop scrolling and pause for a moment. I often call it “Faithbook” as it allows me to share my love of Jesus Christ and the impact He has on my life. Bethabara Moravian has an active “Faithbook” page as does the Pilot Mountain RCC.
2018 was coming to a close. The year had been a very eventful one in bad and good ways. I was tired and still had the joy of Christmas as well as the busyness of the season to contend with. I found myself in Charlotte taking a class to become a Certified Pool Operator. The class was let out a little early and I had the blessing of free time. The Billy Graham Library was only a short drive away. As I walked into his home I felt peace. The simple furniture reminded me of the warmth and love of my Grandmother’s home. I felt welcome. As I walked down a wooded path I came upon the resting place of the Grahams. God’s companionship was almost overpowering.
The Samaritans Purse Shoe Box ministry was introduced to me by Sister Sarah Cooke many years ago. Sister Sarah had brought this ministry into her neighborhood and then to Bethabara. A simple way to show the love of Christ. Unfortunate that Christians can find division in a simple shoebox these days because of the Graham name. I miss the joy and warmth of a church uniting together in such a way.
My mom, Catherine Brewer Holland, often quoted the Moravian Covenant of Christian Living. She talked about how differences of opinions were normal but the way we react is how the world sees Christ in us. How we act at home, church, work and she may add Facebook should be the same.
Each morning I see the Moravian Daily Text on my Facebook Feed. I have devotionals from ministers that sometimes are not respected by some of my brothers and sisters. The Apostles Paul was not trusted or respected by many in the early church, yet just about each Sunday the words of this imperfect Christian are read in our churches and are inspiring.
The other night after a ten-hour workday, I arrived to the blessing of my home. I turned to Facebook to see the activities of family and friends. Fair pictures, my cousin’s post about their new home, a friend whose mom had fallen and broken her hip- joys and concerns of this life.
Franklin Graham was also in North Carolina. I thought of my mother and how when the Billy Graham Crusades were on TV she would watch. The song “Just As I Am” is one I sometimes play on my flute in the Bethabara Band. A simple song reminding me that God loves me – Just as I am, imperfect and loved. As some of my brothers and sisters expressed views on Franklin Graham and I saw angry and sad face emojis posted on Facebook, I truly wondered how we would react to the Apostle Paul coming into town. Would David, a warrior king be welcome? What about Peter who denied our Lord Jesus at the cross?
We are called to be different, set apart, the light of Christ shining in our lives. In the diaries of our spiritual ancestors, we see love given to our neighbors. Their words inspire and encourage me over 200 hundred years later. As brothers and sisters let us ponder on our Facebook post and how they will be seen in years to come.
Looking forward to seeing joy and thanksgivings on “Faithbook”.
About the Author
Jo Beth Holland Boyles has a great appreciation for history and genealogy. She serves the Lord by playing the flute at Bethabara Moravian Church. Her husband, Robby, sings in the choir at Bethabara. She has two grown children, Katie and Robert. The picture above is of Jo Beth from the 1970s at Historic Bethabara.