Brave is the new beautiful
Children's Ministry Leadership - A Book Review

If the Family of God Acted Like Family

One particular evening a while back, we sat around the table with our friends. Getting to know one another better. I inquired about my friend’s family tree. 

 

In order to know her now, I needed to know more about her then.

 

She laughed. Her husband laughed. She asked if I was ready for it.

 

I assured her, 

I can handle this. I watched ‘General Hospital’ for years.

(In fact, I once drew a GH tree so a new viewer would understand the connections between all the characters. Believe me, I was ready for whatever my friend offered.)

 

Soap opera indeed. She had stepdads, multiple stepmoms, siblings, half-siblings, adopted siblings, biological ones.

 

After she’d walked through it all, about twenty minutes later, her husband said,

OK, quiz time.

 

They asked me how certain family members were related. I passed!

 

If The Family Of God Acted Like Family

 

But it got me thinking. Our Christian family tree can look a bit like that too. As Gentiles, we are all grafted in to a new covenant. Together. Family of God. 

But some of these branches from Abraham's tree--some of the people of Israel--have been broken off. And you Gentiles, who were branches from a wild olive tree, have been grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children, sharing in the rich nourishment from the root of God's special olive tree. Romans 11:17 NLT

 

When it comes down to it, through Jesus Christ, all believers are part of the same family tree. And actually, come to think of it, if you look right at the middle, in the midst of all those branches, it resembles a cross.

 

Growing up, my mom often shared with us her perspective on families:

The world will beat you up enough. In our family, we’re going to support one another. Be the safe place for our own.

 

There is so much talk about why the millenials are leaving the church. You know, let me offer a little insight.

 

Say a Millenial Baptist and a Millenial Methodist and a Millenial Catholic all entered a temple. What would they call their meeting? Church.

 

They’re not convinced there’s a need for our denominations and all our differences. The nonbelievers, seekers, atheists and post-Christians. They don’t get that either. Our bickering back and forth. Our direct public attacks on fellow family members. It’s unappealing to them. And some days, I must admit, I agree.

 

There is a place for religious academia and debate. But more importantly, we need to be seen loving our family members. Then loving our neighbors. And our world. As God intended.

 

That kind of religion would get a response from others! It would quench the thirst of a world in need of Living Water. Let’s take a good look at our intertwined Christian family tree. Agree we disagree on some things. Acknowledge we have adopted siblings and black sheep. 

 

And get on with being about our Father's business.  

 

Lyrics to the old hymn, Family of God (© 1970 by William J. Gaither. All rights reserved.)

I'm so glad I'm a part of the Family of God,
I've been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
For I'm part of the family,
The Family of God.

You will notice we say "brother and sister" 'round here,
It's because we're a family and these are so near;
When one has a heartache, we all share the tears,
And rejoice in each victory in this family so dear.

I'm so glad I'm a part of the Family of God,
I've been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
For I'm part of the family,
The Family of God.

From the door of an orphanage to the house of the King,
No longer an outcast, a new song I sing;
From rags unto riches, from the weak to the strong,
I'm not worthy to be here, but praise God I belong!

I'm so glad I'm a part of the Family of God,
I've been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His Blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
For I'm part of the family,
The Family of God.

 

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