Being Family

Posted 9/9/2018

Small churches like ours are in some very real senses families. We know one another by name. But we also probably know “the good, the bad and the ugly” about each other. And, in general, we have learned to live with one another despite our various quirks and differences. We are a family!

Being a family has some real strengths. We know we “have one another’s backs.” When life throws us curve balls, we know that there are others in the congregation who will be there for us. We know there are people who are holding us in prayer.

But being a family also has some drawbacks. Like most families, we tend to divide into groups. We hang out with the brothers and sisters (or cousins!) we find the most comfortable. We cluster with family members who agree with us. As a result, at times our family gatherings (worship, programs) can become divided into groups — really cliques — that may even intentionally avoid one another. 

Another big drawback to being a family is the simple fact there aren’t many ways to become a member of a family. You are either born into it or you aren’t. If you aren’t, you either have to marry into it or be adopted to become a member — and either of those may not guarantee you actually become a member! 

Why am I writing about this? Because as Christians we are called upon to be a family that includes everyone — those family members we disagree with, the new in-laws, the adoptees, even the family-less folk that one member of the family invited to the  family reunion this year!