Over the holidays our small family gathers with members of our extended family, many of whom we see only a few times a year. Our children get to see their cousins, some of whom are about the same age and others who are older with children of their own. This usually results in the need to explain how we are all related – who is a cousin, who is a second cousin, who is a cousin once removed, and so on.
The terminology isn’t all that important. What is important is for all of us to know that we are a family, all connected in some way.
The same is true of our family of faith, our church family. There is a wide variety of ages and personalities, but we are all part of a family of believers, worshipers who gather to serve the kingdom of God.
We have been examining the family of Abraham, Isaac and Rebekah, a family of faith who lived out their faith in God. On Sunday we sang the song “The Family of God.” In that song we are reminded that we are part of a large family – not just the parents, brothers, sisters and cousins of our kinfolk. We are part of a much larger family of faith – all who believe and work for God.
In his ministry Jesus was visited by his mother and brothers. What did the crowd tell Jesus? What was Jesus’ response? Who are the brothers of Christ?
Being part of a family of faith, a much larger family than our blood relatives, involves sharing more than just a name or title. We can call ourselves “Christians,” telling the world that we are a fan of God and that we believe in Jesus. But to be a brother or sister in Christ requires that we show the love of God to those around us.
To be part of the family of God means more than simply gathering in God’s name. It means sharing what we have. It means offering sacrifices to benefit the needy and to give honor to God. As Jesus said, “Whoever does God’s will” are the ones who are the brothers and sisters of Christ. Doing the work of God is what it takes to be part of the family of God.
Are you a fan or a follower? Do you just believe in God? Are you a fan? Or are you a follower of God? Are you willing to do the work of God, loving others sacrificially, praising God through good works, and living by faith?
DAILY CHALLENGE: What can you do to be a brother or sister of Christ?