I have three kids- one is in middle school and two are elementary aged. One of the trickiest things to navigate with them is what to do in different social situations. We have tried to teach them what it means to be a good friend and to stand up for those who are being hurt by others, even if it means being unpopular. That’s a hard thing for kids to do, and if I am being honest, it’s even hard for me to do sometimes as an adult! The best way I’ve seen for my kids to learn this valuable lesson is also the hardest way- for them to be the one who is hurt. When you are hurt, nothing feels better than knowing a friend stood up for you!
One of my kids in particular seems to experience this more often than the other two. A few weeks ago, she found out from a friend that another friend called her a hurtful name. A third friend in the group boldly stood up for her and said all the things that she loved about my daughter. Of course when she found out that a friend who she loved had said something mean about her, she was crushed. But, her sadness was quickly overcome with gratefulness for the friend who had stood up for her. We took sometime to talk about this. What does it look like to be a good friend? How does it feel when a friend hurts you? We also talked about how courageous it was for her friend to stand up for her. Where does that courage come from? How do we choose courage over fear?
This reminds me a little of the story in Acts 4 where John and Peter are arrested for teaching about Jesus and for healing a lame man. Thousands of people were coming to faith in Jesus because of their teaching and actions, so they were called in front of the Sanhedrin to be questioned after their arrest. If there was ever a time to keep their mouth shut, this was it! We can gather from scripture that they were probably roughed up during the arrest and kept in jail overnight. And they also knew what happened to Jesus, so it would have been understandable if they chose to stay quiet. But instead, scripture says that Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and boldly proclaimed that their power came from Jesus Christ alone and they continued to witness about the resurrection in front of the Jewish leaders. In Verse 13 it says, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized they had been with Jesus.” I love this so much. Because of the way they spoke with such confidence and boldness, the leaders knew they had been with Jesus. They had been friends and their loyalty and allegiance was only to Him, regardless of what consequences may come their way.
As we navigate tough situations in our lives, let’s remember the actions of Peter and John. Because the Holy Spirit is in us, we are able to be courageous and not only stand up for our friends, but also boldly preach the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Upcoming February Events
1st // Dinner for 8
15th // Presence Seminar
26th // Ash Wednesday
28th-29th // IF: Women’s Conference
Dinner for 8
This Sunday is the last day to sign up for Dinner for 8. These dinners are hosted in homes and happen a couple of times a year. They are critical to our parish life as they model hospitality. We invite everyone to attend for great food, conversation and overall connection to other people in our church. Dinner for 8 is Saturday, February 1st at 7 PM. To register for a dinner group you can click here.
Missional Partner Highlight: Any Woman Can
Any Woman Can is a Missional Partner of the Oak Meadow parish. Any Woman Can offers counselors, nurses, and client advocates who walk alongside women in crisis by offering free counseling, ultrasounds, and STD and pregnancy testing. Saturday, February 29th at 6pm they are having An Amazing Night of Entertainment with special guests Ruben V, HARRIS the III, Master Illusionist, and Sonny Melendres. This event helps support services for the city of San Antonio. Tickets can be purchased by clicking here.
IF:The Park SA Women’s Conference
Join women of The Park on February 28th-29th for IF: The Park SA 2020! This gathering will include worship, fellowship, and powerful speakers. Registration is $50 which includes dinner on Friday, lunch on Saturday and an IF:The Park SA t-shirt. To register you can click here. For questions or more information you can contact Terri Pease at firstname.lastname@example.org.