Saturday, June 06, 2009

We Are Family

According to the Bible [Romans 8:15,23; 9:4] we are the adopted children of God. This makes us joint heirs with Jesus Christ [Romans 8:17; Gal 3:29]. We have, by faith, been brought into a unique family situation. When you take into consideration the context we actually have taken precedence over Jesus in that while God the Father sacrificed His one and only Son, He WILL NOT ever do that to us. God would never forsake the relational contract of adoption. Once we are in the family we can never be out of the family.

All of us in the Church and local church are siblings by faith. We are all joint heirs with Christ as the children of God. Do you remember Sister Sledge back in 1979? They sang a song that is helpful in this regard. They sang about family. They sang about commitment. They sang about love. What if we were like that with each other?

We are family
I got all my sisters with me
We are family
Get up everybody and sing

Everyone can see we're together
As we walk on by
(FLY!) and we fly just like birds of a feather
I won't tell no lie
(ALL!) all of the people around us they say
Can they be that close
Just let me state for the record
We're giving love in a family dose

Living life is fun and we've just begun
To get our share of the world's delights
(HIGH!) high hopes we have for the future
And our goal's in sight
(WE!) no we don't get depressed
Here's what we call our golden rule
Have faith in you and the things you do
You won't go wrong
This is our family Jewel

What if we exemplified these kinds of feelings toward each other? Is not the local church an opportunity to get used to eternity? As family, we are to be committed to each other. Intellectually we know this fact. However, in practice we often fail miserably. We have become distracted with the here and now which is baseball, tourneys, water sports, family events, etc. Putting Summer aside, we have become committed to everything EXCEPT the church family. Which brings us to one of two disturbing points. Either we have sold a short-cut gospel to raise numbers, baptisms, and accolades or much of our so-called family is not family at all. They are outsiders trying to be insiders.

After Matthew got up from the collections table and followed Jesus he brought Him to his house for a party for introductions. The Pharisees, who were on the outside, could not understand. Those who were on the inside, though, were receiving a wonderful evening of the presence of Jesus. The blessing is reserved for those on the inside. No one else can quite grasp the concept.

We are called to be family. Let's start loving like it. Let's start committing like it.