Read: Ephesians 4:8-16
. . . to equip the saints for the work of ministry. (v. 12)
The courtroom was filled to capacity with friends, family, church members, his fifth grade teacher, karate instructor, therapist, even a golden retriever! Anyone who had played a direct role in helping Ben transition from foster child to adopted child was present for this grand, and yes, holy occasion. Today was the day. The judge read through the initial legal jargon, asked for comments, read the final proclamation, and “whack!” with a rap of her gavel the proceedings were done. Ben had walked into the courtroom without a legal family and a different last name. He walked out with both, surrounded by those whom God had specifically chosen to be there. His very own local, praying, loving community of saints.
Jesus had a small community of saints that would change the world. He empowered them with remarkable gifts: the ability to spread, teach, grow, heal, and more all meant to transform us, 2,000 years later, into his likeness. What a remarkable proposition! Even more so, as the text indicates, we were never meant to get there alone. As we strive toward this astonishing and beautiful future, he urges the use of these gifts, in community, for the “building up the body of Christ” (v. 12). Sometimes that simply means showing up. Our family was loved on by our local community of saints. How do you show up, and who is there for you? —Tammy DeRuyter
As you pray, ask for ways you can be present for others. While you’re at it, take note of the saints he has placed around you!
About the Author
Tammy DeRuyter is a former stockbroker turned student of theology and history. She holds master’s degrees in both from Fuller Theological Seminary and Central Michigan University. Married for more than 25 years to Michael, an ordained RCA pastor, they have three emerging, young adult children ages 20, 21, and 22—the youngest of whom was adopted at 11.