by Shelly Bruno
Almost missing the Feast of Tabernacles this year, due to a sudden sickness of my son, has given me a new perspective about my church family. Frankly, I had been taking attendance at the Feast for granted. I am blessed with a place to attend services every Sabbath and fellowship with other believers. Unfortunately, I wasn’t fully appreciating that blessing until I was faced with the reality of observing the Feast alone. As much as I tried to have a “Feast spirit” over 1,000 miles away from the brethren—what I really wanted was to share that spirit with my church family—in person!
Spending time every Sabbath and on Holy Days with those who are led by God’s Spirit strengthens my resolve during the week and throughout the year. I know that my spiritual brothers and sisters also face trials or experience times of joy, and we can share that. Many times in conversation at church services, someone has said something to me that stuck. It might have been a few simple words of encouragement, or even some challenging words that helped me rethink my approach to overcoming a problem.
I’ve been inspired by others’ ability to tackle their trials, encouraged by supportive words, and simply been made to feel connected to God’s spiritual family. We don’t always know how we can affect one another, but we do. Thankfully, as it turned out, I was able to attend the second half of the Feast with God’s family. Although members of this family may not all share the same blood, what we do share is so much more important–God’s Holy Spirit. This blessing of family is something I now appreciate more fully, and as I look forward to Sabbath services each week, I’ll remember that family matters!