MADE FOR HIS FAMILY
Today's Scripture: “... but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God [the Church], built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:19b-22, ESV
Theme: The gathered family and household of God are a holy temple, a place for God to come and meet with us by His Spirit.
WHO AM I?
If asked to introduce myself in just about any setting, I start with the basics and hit a few highlights. My name first. Then, depending on the setting, maybe my job title or where I’m from. Next, a bit about my family. When I’m in my hometown, I may mention who my parents are, and when I’m in Mooresville, who my kids are or where they went to school. It’s a means of creating connectivity, but also an insight to my lineage.
With over 20 million people now in the registry for Ancestry.com, it’s evident we not only care about who we are but who we’re connected to. Don’t think lineage matters today? Check out the Royal Monarchy.
We are a communal people, and we want to belong. We gather by common interests, education, hobbies, experiences, or even aversions. Of course, we also gather by faith. Sometimes, life can feel isolating but, as Christians, we are all children of God and followers of the Most High. Above any other claim, we are acknowledged as God’s own creation, redeemed by His only Son. I can’t think of a more prestigious family tree! When I feel insecure, out of place, or that I don’t belong, I stand a little straighter when I remember WHOSE I am.
The best part is that this loving family is open to EVERYONE. Anne Wilson sings a song called “Living Water.” She calls out every “outcast, wrong-way, runaway rebel” to come on down to the living water for there are “no more strangers, only sons and daughters.” As part of the family of God, I am never alone. Not only does God love me, there is also a community of His believers surrounding me, prepared to lift me up. I belong...and so do you. We each have a role in this family, because the gathered family of God is His holy temple. It’s not the building, the décor, or even the music. It is Him, and us, and we need to remain in the habit of being together.
Matthew 18:20 (NIV) says “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” I am prepared to admit that, since Covid, I’ve gotten lazy. I can find just about any excuse to watch online instead of getting to church on time. I even convince myself that I’ll be there on Wednesday night for Cove Students so, “That’s good enough”. Or “I wrote a devotion this week and spent extra time in prayerful reflection” so, CHECK! Maybe I had a long week at work, and I just don’t want to rush around on Sunday, also. All excuses. All about me. I must remember that my being there to worship and fellowship is not just about me. It’s about others, too, and whatever role God may have me play in their day or their journey.
Make It Personal: I hope you know that you are loved and that you belong. If you haven’t already found a community of believers to support you in your walk with God, make it a point to take a step in that direction this week. Find a serving team, connect with a Life Group, or grab lunch with someone you’d like to know better. If you already feel well connected, look around. Is there someone on the sidelines who needs you to reach out and include them? Jesus calls each of us to BE the church, not just GO to church.
Pray: God, thank You for calling me Your child and loving me so unconditionally. Help me to overcome my selfishness and laziness to be an active part of Your family through study, worship, and connection. I want to see others as You see them and encourage them in their spiritual journey in the ways You guide me. Amen
Read: Ecclesiastes 4:7-12; Romans 8:16-17; John 17:20-22; Ephesians 2:19-22
Weekly Memory Verse: “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.” Hebrews 9:11-12, ESV