God never wanted anyone to be fatherless, an orphan or a widow. When He made man, His design was for each and everyone to belong to family, where we are loved, accepted and celebrated. Sin destroyed that family relationship, first with our Heavenly Father and then with one another. Sin left us fatherless, orphans and widows and ever since, our souls have been longing for a home and a people.
When Jesus came, He reintroduced us to the Father. Our Father. And when He resurrected, He made it possible for us to belong to God’s Family. The Holy Spirit teaches us how to relate to one another as family members of the Household of God. And He teaches us how to receive newly adopted orphans into this family.
In God’s Family, and in this church, we first learn to belong. Then we believe, and we become.
We belong. In God’s Family, we are accepted equally as sons and daughters. There maybe functions and roles, but we are all well-pleasing to the Father and so should we to one another. Our family members rejoice over us! Here we find comfort, understanding, patience and love. We need to see that no matter what happens we are never rejected, abandoned, or forsaken. We need to understand that yes, we can be disappointed with one another, and sometimes our expectations of each other (our expectations of them and their expectations of us) aren’t met. But we don’t give up relating with each other because of these failures and shortcomings. Instead, we need to model for each other what it looks like to forgive, accept, rejoice and restore. We walk together through pain and healing, and in getting used to one another’s quirks. It’s a long walk and a process but underlying that is the concept of family: we will stick it out and live through it together, for as long as eternity is. After all, blood – the blood of Jesus through us – is thicker than water!
Then we believe. You can only put your faith in people you trust loves you no matter what. It’s difficult to have someone believe like we do, until we learn to accept them when they don’t believe as we do. Once they know they belong in this family, then they can start believing what the family stands for, what the collective dreams are. And we hear them say, yup, that’s what I stand for as well.
Then we can start becoming. When we begin to “own” the language of the family, then we start to talk and walk together and have the same mind and vision. By then, we want to be like the rest of the family. Because God is my Father and He is love, we start to become more loving and patient and kind. Because Jesus modeled forgiveness, then I forgive others too. As I see my family changing the world for Christ, then, I want to make a difference too! So as we all imitate Christ, we all become more like Him and each other!
We are part of the Kingdom of God our Heavenly Father, and His Kingdom is Family-oriented, Family-run, Family-service. We all do our part to make this Family work because we want to give glory to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom all family on earth derives its name.
Ephesians 2:18-19 For through Jesus Christ we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household.