Every so often, we dig out the family photo albums and spend some enjoyable moments reminiscing and being thankful for each relative and friend along the way.
The pictures from childhood bring focus to fuzzy memories, the collection from the teen years helps us to recall the life challenges and good times, and then the more recent photos of our children and family life give us a sense of fruition and purpose.
Most families have a commanding or stern relative–an uncle or grandfather perhaps. Most have an old-maid aunt, a zany nephew, a brother or uncle who was a real character! There are the sweet children and those who were rebellious and independent. When we look through the pictures that take us through the years, we usually find that we learned something important from each person or shared some meaningful growing experience. We also remember the feelings we had for each—the love, the caring, the kindness, the respect.
For many Christians, the same “family” experience also occurs in the church. We find that we learn valuable life lessons from those who attend our church. We also share memorable activities and life changing spiritual insights with each other. Every member brings a special gift, a unique contribution so that all help to build up “the body of Christ.” It is a wondrous blessing that ordinary human beings working together with faith in Jesus can become “the body” that does Christ’s work in the world.
By working with our family and our church family, we learn our strengths and weaknesses, our talents and gifts. We learn self-control and gain the ability to work with others for important goals. We learn to put God and others before our own selfish needs, but also find the help and love we need in challenging times.
Our double family experience, at home and at church, is truly one of God’s best gifts, and our study of Scripture reinforces the idea that God Himself intended both families and supports both with His Love and His Word.
…..Mary-Ellen Grisham (firstname.lastname@example.org) by way of Eternal Ink (email@example.com) and “Christian Voices” (www.ChristianVoicesWorldwide.net)