“Family Matters”

          In Matthew Chapter 12 the disciples let Jesus know that his family was outside waiting to speak to him to which Jesus does something profound.  He redefines the family.  It is here that he asks, Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?  Pointing to his disciples, he said, Here are my mother and my brothers.   For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”  (Mt.  28; 48-50) Some might think that they can do the Christian walk alone but not so.  We have all been called to a place of community in which the principles of familial relationship stand at the core.  From the biological relationships to the spiritual connection to God we were created to become a part of a greater whole which is the family.  Even as Adam and Eve were brought together in the garden to physically be a support to one another they did so as they walked in the presence of God.  The family is God’s institution and He is to be found at the center of it.
          Our new direction for the coming year is to develop spiritually strong families.  If you are breathing today you at some point in your life have derived from a biological family.  We believe that family units should be spiritually awakened and strengthened because Strong Spiritual Families Make the Difference in the world around them.  A series of spiritually strong families build a spiritually strong community which in turn creates a spiritually strong nation.  Could it be that the product of the decaying family health over the last 50 years has finally manifested in the brokenness of our nation?  Maybe you yourself have lived the reality of a broken home.  Here’s the hope.  Jesus in the book of Matthew redefines the family beyond the limits of biological relationships.  He re-identifies the need for the glue that holds the family together.  GOD!!!.  Here is our truth, we all share a common blood.  The blood of Jesus is what unites us and brings us all into the family that Jesus was describing in Matthew 12.
          The church was never necessarily identified by its organizational brand in the first century although that is what it may appear to be trying to do today.  It was identified as a body made up of many parts functioning together for a common cause – the presentation of the Gospel.  It was recognized in Acts as a collective group of believers that took it upon themselves the necessity of caring for one another as a family to which the viewing world was attracted to it and left astounded by it.  Even Cornelius a centurion is noted as being devout and God-fearing along with his entire family, and the natural result was that he gave generously to those in need and God recognized it.  I have to wonder if the church of today is more interested in marketing a new brand than simply reflecting what should be a natural manifestation of their own spiritual experience? This should be a challenge.  Although we should be organized in our approach we can never diminish or de-prioritize the need to be gracious in our actions and relationship to one another.  If we really do view others as our brother and sister, mother and father, how then would we really treat them?  Not as a number or a cog in the wheel of our organization, but instead as family.