Starting sometime last year, I’ve been trying to write down at least one thing a day that I’m thankful for. I focus more on small stuff, ordinary stuff, unnecessary blessings as I call them.
Today, one of the things I wrote down was “being part of others’ families, even if we’re not really related, because Jesus connects us.”
In my small church, we are family. I personally am related to quite a few (okay, most) of the people there. But it’s more than being biologically related, more than sharing common ancestors and family members–we’re family. Because of Jesus.
We Christians have all been adopted into God’s Family. Our Big Brother died so that we could become brothers and sisters, sharing the same Father.
I’ve got this thing about large families. Like, yes, I know it’s a lot of work, lot of money spent on food/clothing/schooling/etc., probably not much privacy or personal space. . . But look at all the love. The shared memories. The inside jokes. The knowing things about each other that maybe nobody else will ever know. The closeness. The amount of support and advice and help. All that can be in small families too, even just between husband and wife. But, ya know, “the more, the merrier.” 😄
It’s the same (at least it should be) for the Family of God. Taking a lot of work and money and time, yes; maybe having to give up some privacy and “personal space.” But, oh, all the love. The shared memories. The inside jokes and things only we understand. The knowing things about each other that outsiders/non-family will maybe never know. The closeness. The amount of support and advice and help and prayer.
And the more, the merrier.
God doesn’t put a limit on how many children He’s gonna have. He will never ever say, “Okay, this is the last one. No more!”
He asks someone, “You need a Father? You want a Family?” then throws His arms open wide and says, “Come here. There’s plenty of room in My Home. And in My heart. Come on, I’ll be your Daddy.” When one of His kids introduces a friend to Him, He welcomes them and adopts them, makes them one of the “gang.”
He never rejects. Never turns away. Never lets down. Never runs out of space or time or love.
It doesn’t matter who they are, where they’re from, what race/nationality they are, what they’ve done, who they’re (literally) related to, how they look, what their talents are (or aren’t), or-or whatever!
Anybody. And. Everybody. Who. Wants. To. Can. Join. The. Family. Of. God.
And we as His children–as people adopted and welcomed wholeheartedly into His Family/Home/Heart–should “adopt” others like He does. What exactly that means could vary from person to person. Maybe it means literally adopt a baby or child or even teenager. Maybe it means witness to someone and lead them to Christ. Maybe it means opening your arms and heart to other Christians, welcoming them to your church, being a friend to them, praying for them, etc. Maybe it means inviting people to your home so much and so warmly that they feel like it’s their home too. Maybe it means treating others like your siblings–loving them, supporting them, knowing them, making memories with them, being there for them, etc.
If we don’t–don’t love, don’t make people feel like they’re welcome, don’t throw open our arms and home-doors and heart–then will anybody want to be part of the Family? When the world sees the way we treat those like us, those who are the children of the same Father God as we, will they long for that? Desire that relationship, that love, that support? Want it so badly that they’re willing to change, give up what’s familiar, make themselves vulnerable?
Jesus connects us with the Father, Himself, and each other. Will we guide others to be connected, to be one of the Family?