Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Connected in the Family

In the message that I gave this past Sunday we saw Paul using the metaphor of the body to describe how the church should function together.

In this blog I wanted to highlight another metaphor Paul uses to describe the church, the family.

Here are a couple scriptures to make this point:

Romans 8:15, "So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into his family —calling him "Father, dear Father."

Ephesians 1:5, "His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave him great pleasure."

The problem is in our culture the family has been attacked and split into many shards. The common statistic is 50% of all marriages end up in divorce. That doesn't include all the marriages that stick it out but are in horrible shape. You can look into the media and it seems the the people in the news are the ones who are living thier in the absence of family. In all honesty, we see thier lives with fascinating horror. Britney, Linsey, et. al. are a glimpse of what life is like without concrete family values. Life is a mess.

I don't have to tell you that. You know that from your own experience. Many of you have had hard times with your father and the conception that your heavenly father unconditionally loves you is hard to accept. The reactions we make in countering our bad family experiences often times have their own problems. For example a person might say: I was forced to do this as a child so we go to the other extreme to absolutely avoid it. This too has it's own problems.

Many of us have had tough experiences with family.

Then we come to church and we stress that we are like to be one big happy family! How? With the family break down our country has suffered, how can the church be a big happy family? What model should we use?

I don't have all the answers to that but I do know where to begin. Paul writes in Romans that we are to accept one another as Christ has accepted you. When Christ accepts you he takes you "as is." And let me tell you something, your "as is" is not accpetable to God's standards. He accepts you faults and all. He accepted you even when you were unacceptable. That's called grace!

We are to take that grace, that acceptance, and give it to others. That's one of the key components of a healthy family. You're accepted not because of what you have done, or where you came from, or from a lack of doing anything. You are accepted because you are family.

This can be hard to do, especially when someone irritates us, does something to hurt us, or just gets on our nerves. The truth is it's not about us. It's about demonstrating God's acceptance to all people, especially our church family.

Like the old song says, "We are family. I've got all my sisters and brothers with me!"

Have Yourself Committed!


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