By Ryan Peterson
There is a definite fear in leaving a place that feels comfortable, feels right, and feels like “home.” For my family, that place was the St. Louis area. It was the home that my wife Kristy and I knew as a married couple. Shortly after we were married in July 2003, we moved to St. Louis – just the two of us, a 14 foot U-Haul of stuff (grandma’s old couch, my uncle’s used table, and some wedding gifts), and our white VW Jetta. Over the past 10 years, we were blessed to live in a vibrant, exciting, and encouraging community. We made St. Louis home. But what really made it feel like home was the community of people we lived life with, day in and day out.
“How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!” Psalm 133:1
We knew what that verse meant because we lived it. We experienced unity in many relationships. We had unity in our church. We saw unity develop in our neighborhood over the previous years. We witnessed deep, lasting, Christ-centered relationships.
And we cried. Some days a little. Other days a little more. One particular day I remember losing it in our kitchen, crying uncontrollably a midst the boxes being packed and the mess of moving all around me, as I considered “losing” the community of friends (which became family) that God allowed us to experience. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the day we drove away, with our home and friends in the rear view mirror.
You’ve probably made a move or two in your life, as well. You know the feeling of leaving the security of what you know and venturing into the unknown. You know the fear of losing the community you have become attached to, wondering if another group of people would ever fill the perceived void in your heart and life. If you have ever made a move like that, you know that it takes time to develop relationships.
And yet, even when we say good-bye, Jesus stands with us and goes before us. Today, my family is experiencing that reality already at St. Luke. As Pastor Rossow said on Sunday, “Jesus stands in the midst of St. Luke Lutheran Church.” Because Jesus stands in our midst, when we look to him, we also end up looking to one another. Isn’t that how God designed us – for “one another?” The epistles are filled with “one another” phrases, and for good reason. We were created for relationships and community. When God allows the paths of many lives to cross, he gives us the opportunity to live the journey of life together.
Because Jesus stands in our midst, when we look to him, we also end up looking to one another.
Today, we are humbled to be a part of the St. Luke family of faith. We look forward to living in community with you as Christ stands in our midst.