Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Sense of Family

"For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Matthew 12:50

I am always struck by how important a sense of family is to the strength of any church community. Last night we carved pumpkins at the church with many families coming, enjoying pizza, carving pumpkins and time together. The children, of a variety of ages, enjoy being together and the adults do also. It is a comfortable and flexible atmosphere, where everyone seems at ease. It is like being at home. So many people lack a sense of belonging and home, and how welcome it is when we find a place that we are comfortable and welcome.

Jesus was visited by his mother and siblings, and he used the occasion to teach us that we are knit together like a family in our Christian faith. We belong together and are responsible for one another - just like in a healthy, supportive family. We all know that some families are not healthy and not capable of providing a supportive environment. It is a real gift when we find a church community that can be our family when our family cannot. A simple but overwhelmingly wonderful gift is to have a church community that has the capacity to help heal the holes left by a broken family. God's love is manifest in the relationship, whether kin or congregation. We are bound as a family together, and no matter how we construct that family, God's love finds a way to bring health and wholeness to us all.

I ask God to use me to build healthy and strong Christian communities. I am blessed to be serving among people who have much to teach and share about being a strong community of support and encouragement. I pray that here I can help and support them and reach out with them in love to the wider community. May we all be about building healthy, loving families for God's sake. For I know Christ will be found where people are working together to strengthen the bounds of welcome and love.

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