Saturday, September 29, 2012

We Are Family And That Means Something

I have ten children and it is not very hard to tell they are related. Some of them have the same features yet they are clearly distinct from each other. It is strange, some are short and some are tall. Some are blonde and some are not. Some are bulky and some are thin. Some are dense and rather heavy to pick up yet others are as light as a feather. Some laugh easily and others are a little more withdrawn. Some are soft spoken and others are as loud as a freight train. Still, it is easy to tell they are from the same family.

My children share many of the same experiences. They have memories that tie them together. The vocabulary they use is similar. Some of their mannerisms are common between them. They share many of the same likes and dislikes. But the thing that ties them all together is their name. They are tied together by the same name due to their common parentage. It is the same with you and me.

You and I belong to the same family. We may live on opposites sides of this planet, come from different races and nationalities, have different likes and dislikes and we probably don't look anywhere near the same, but we are still family. In fact, you and I have the same experience in common that changed how we look and act, our nationalities and race. We are no longer identified by anything from this world because we belong to God's family; we have common parentage:

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. (Ephesians 3:14-15)

I don't need to know anything else about you; tell me you are Christian, a follower of Jesus and you are already precious to me. You are family to me. That is suppose to mean something between me and you. It means we have a privileged obligation to love and support each other. I have a responsibility to encourage you as you have that same responsibility to me. Sometimes we forget when we allow the system of this world to rule over us, but the Bible makes it clear:

The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. (1 Corinthians 12:12-13)

It doesn't matter where we go in this world, if we are in the company of Christians we should always feel welcomed and at home. It is the same if someone joins with us, we should always make them feel welcomed and at home because they are our brother and sister.

Maybe the practices of our congregations are a bit different,  it doesn't matter. What matters is that we have the same Father, we are under the same King and we were birthed in the same Spirit. We have the experience of the cross in common and we are all clothed with the same spiritual garments. Gone are the nationalities, races, colour of the skin, different languages, all borders are erased. The only national pride we feel is that of the Father's love. All ties to this world are cut and our identity is only found in Jesus Christ. This is quite the family we belong to and we have much to celebrate together.

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