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An Old-Fashioned Pounding

     I belong to a church family that is bigger than I ever imagined I’d be a part of.  It is in this church family that I find myself lost in a sea of love and compassion.  I am often overwhelmed by how deeply this body of Christ loves one another.  It is palpable and tangible.  The family, as it is, comes together to lift those among us who are in times of trial.  Such was the case this past winter.  We lifted the ones who lift us and guide our flock…we loved on our pastor and his family.  We love them so much so we gave them a good ol’ fashion “Pounding.”

     I had never heard of a Pounding.  It dates back to the age of the original Quakers.  The custom was established to welcome a new pastor and his family into a congregation.  The idea was to give the family a pound of pantry staples…corn, wheat, sugar, butter etc… It was a sign of hospitality and welcome.  Our Pounding was a bit different.

     Our pastor and his wife were in the throes of a personal pounding of a different kind…, the kind where trials of this life were pressing in.  One of the members of a mother’s group I am in (with the pastor’s wife) came up with this very generous idea to bless and show our love to our shepherds.  We all met on a cool Friday morning to show our deep love and gratitude for this dear couple who extends themselves so unconditionally to our church family. 

     The pastor and his wife experienced trial of epic proportions this past year.  The ordeal they encountered could have broken them into pieces, yet, they walked in faith knowing that the Lord’s sovereignty would carry them through.  They stood tall in the face of persecution and came out the other side with confidence beyond comprehension.  My conviction in the Lord’s goodness grew to immense proportions while I watched them digging deep into the faithfulness of God.  We all saw their example and our lives were changed indelibly. 

     So we Pounded them—with Love.  We blessed them in the way we knew we could…a tangible, gratitude-filled way.  We delighted in pouring into them the love they have poured into us.  Giving never felt so grand.

     Now, we don’t live in a time of cellars and dry storage.  We are more of a coffee and chocolate kind of culture. The bounty of our giving was exciting and unique.  There were pounds of chocolate, coffee, flowers, desserts, pantry staples and even batteries (which Helen said she had planned on buying when she left our gathering…God knows what we need!).  You name it…a pound of it was given with a joyful heart!

     I encourage congregations everywhere to take up this sweet custom.  Our pastors and their families give and love their flock sacrificially.  They answer God’s call to lead in His will and His way.  They love with the heart of Christ.  They give of their resources willingly without any expectations.  They know that their treasure lies in Heaven.  Let us show them love this side of eternity and lavish them in gratitude and thanksgiving!

“And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.” Jeremiah 3:15 ESV

Copyright © 2008-2015 Samantha Ewing

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