Acts 2:42,47 – They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer … praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. (NIV)

In the last few years, I have been involved with and co-ministering in a new church development. I think that because of the type of work that we have been involved in, I have been challenged a great deal concerning my concept of what the church is and what it is meant to be. I often find myself going back to scripture and reading about the first Christian church. That could also be the reason that when I took my canoe course, I also related it to what we are called to do in the church.

As we practised falling out of the canoe and doing our rescue procedures, I couldn't help but think that this is what we do in the church. Sometimes in life, we end up falling into deep waters and someone else has to come alongside us with the resources to rescue us. They help us to right our canoe and hold the canoe while we climb back into the canoe and start again. The interesting thing, though, is that in the church, our roles often change. Sometimes I will notice that your canoe is starting to tip so I can come alongside you and help you to steady it, but another time it might be mine. Maybe something will happen in my life which will drag me down in the undercurrent. It is then that I need to know that you will be there to rescue me, that you will come to help me to right my canoe. That's what the church is about: learning to help each other as we journey along together!

Prayer: Loving Father, thank you for the support of our brothers and sisters who, when we begin to doubt ourselves, or when the waves of the world come crashing down on us, will be there to support us. Help us to be more sensitive to those around us, so that when they are having difficulties, we will be able to support them and if necessary, will be able to help them right their canoe again. Help us to learn what it means to be the church. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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Ruth McCowan <>
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

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