How would you describe your family? What words or phrases would you use to define those individuals that make up your family unit? Some of you might use words such as “loving,” “reliable,” “loyal,” “caring,” “close,” or “encouraging.” Others of you might choose words like “broken,” “dysfunctional,” “complex,” “untrustworthy,” “fractured,” or “hurting.” That’s the reality of family. One’s experiences may seem like an ocean away from what someone else might be taking in when it comes to how they view their family. Families are complex, families go through seasons of conflict or disjointedness, families are not perfect…even the most uplifting ones.
I am very thankful that I was able to experience a family where my parents loved each other and loved their kids and sought to bring them up in a loving knowledge of the Lord. There were definitely times where I took what I had and have for granted. I would also be the first to admit that, even though my family was wonderful, and encouraging, and fun, we were not perfect. My parents had their moments of disagreement, my siblings and I would not always “play nice” together, there were times when we didn’t always see eye-to-eye with one another, there were times where our differences even amidst our unity rose to the forefront.
But no matter what your family background or upbringing was or is like, the beautiful reality is that God always goes above and beyond our experiences. When it comes to His family, that’s where the comparisons stop dead in their tracks. The reality of God’s family meets each of us in our own situations and reminds us again of who we are and Whose we are. God has stepped in and claimed you and I as His…as His children. He invites you and I into His family and it has nothing to do with what we bring to the table or can offer Him. He does it out of a radical love and a scandalous mercy that defies understanding. While you may be a part of a family here on this Earth, God has adopted you into His family and that is to shape how you live, view, and interact with those around you.
God’s way of showing up and revealing Himself and His gifts in our lives always come in spite of our attitudes, viewpoints, and circumstances. He fills in the gaps of what we need and promises that being a member of His family will never disappoint. In God’s family, He is our Protector, our Provider, our Father who loves nothing more than for His children to know that He loves them.
Being a member of God’s family brings unity, encouragement, shaping, and equipping that builds the Body of Christ up in a way that uplifts each of the other members, but also seeks to be a blessing to those not yet in that family. As the Church, we have a distinct and unique calling and opportunity as children of God: to love, serve, and encourage one another and to share those gifts to those we meet and know that need to feel the bond of true family that can only be found in Christ.
Pastor Ben Bigaouette