'Day One' Blog

As If We Were Family

Family

We, The Church, are Family.
We treat each other AS FAMILY.
We reach beyond our borders
and we love others AS IF they were family.
This is the love of Jesus in action,
a love we’re commanded to extend.

~

And the Lord added to their number day by day
those who were being saved.

A teacher I listen to often spends the 1st half of his teaching providing background and context for the point he will eventually make. He encourages his listeners to endure because “relevance is coming.” Bare with me as I bring you along a train of thought that led me to a simple point having to do with The Church as Family. – Anne

CONTEXT ~

I’ve been thinking about Followers of Jesus as described in the book of Acts. That’s the telling of the beginning of The Church, before there was any system or template in place that stated what it meant to “be” The Church.

I’ve also been thinking about the present day Church and how it is we are in community with each other, or if we are truly living in community. What might that mean? What would give evidence that we are truly “communing” as Jesus called us to?

My third thought is this: As I have become increasingly exposed to particular marginalized groups in society, namely foster children and orphans living within a few miles of where I live, I am forced to investigate the discrepancy that there would be children who live as “unknowns” when there are literally thousands of “Christians” (me being one) all around them. Is this even possible, if The Church is truly BEING The Church?

I’m too ignorant to address the reality of these largely invisible children, but I feel compelled to think through and try to find language to express my contribution to their needs remaining unmet. And not just them, but the countless others who I bump into every day, who remain hidden because they have not found The Church (even while they may be part of it) a safe place to disclose their true selves. Again I ask: How is this possible, if The Church is truly BEING The Church?

Here’s the general premise I’m working from:

– The Church is composed of sons and daughters of God, all having come to Him through the saving work of Jesus. The Church is NOT an institution or building or system.
– The Church is depicted as family throughout the New Testament, so that it is right to refer to her as The Family of God. We are not compared to family. We are consistently referenced as family.
– The beginnings and early development of Family life are spelled out in the book of Acts.

~

And all who believed were together
and had all things in common.
And they were selling their possessions and belongings
and distributing the proceeds to all,
as any had need.
And day by day, attending the temple together
and breaking bread in their homes,
they received their food with glad and generous hearts,
praising God and having favor with all the people.
And the Lord added to their number day by day
those who were being saved.
~ Acts 2:44-47 ~

RELEVANCE ~

The “early Church” was famous for their care of needy people outside their Family. They helped sick people and widows and orphans. Simply put, they cared for the needy beyond their borders “as if” they were family. Within their borders, their care for one another was so comprehensive, there was NONE in need. There was a pooling of resources and a heart of generosity to share, so that each and every person had whatever it is they needed to get along. This care was holistic, meeting external and internal needs.

With all of that in mind, below are a few questions I believe are worth bringing to the Lord. These are mammoth questions meant to stir, even agitate, so that if they are not currently on our radar, we might allow them to come on the radar, aware that they will make us uncomfortable and even feel pain. They will, by their nature, raise other equally important questions. The hope is that the Spirit of God would stir us to action. That happens one person at a time. It starts with me.

  • If The Church is family, why do so many of us remain unknown within our own house?
  • Do you personally experience The Church as family?
  • What does The Church fight culturally, that might keep us from living AS FAMILY?
  • How would you articulate your contribution to The Church (your family)?
  • How would you articulate The Church’s contribution to the needy beyond our borders?

We, The Church, are Family.
We treat each other AS FAMILY.
We reach beyond our borders
and we love others AS IF they were family.

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4 Comments

  • Paulette

    1

    Heard Rob McCoy study Acts 2-4 last night and addressed some of these same things. This usually means the same as truly, truly..."listen-up"..here are my thoughts between the lines. "And all who believed were together" -How many days in a week do we spend alone.. "and had all things in common." -in the middle or "our" stuff "And they were selling their possessions and belongings" -I really want to get that garage and those closets emptied "and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need." -I am sure someone else could use what I haven't. "And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes." -Who wants to come over for dinner, prayer and song?

  • Kathie

    2

    Glad you are addressing this topic. One that I struggle with as well. I participated in a short bible study on "ordinary - how to turn the world upside down" by Tony Merida. It was a good study and very thought provoking. It does make me uncomfortable as you ponder the questions and realize perhaps the level of compassion, generosity and hospitality to name a few should be our primary goal. Selfishness, idols and the like which you've addressed in earlier blogs depicts the real problem in my opinion. God is faithful to show me my real life examples of how to follow better as I ask Him to change my heart. When the heart changes - so does my actions and perspective. Thank you for another insightful word to meditate on. XO

  • Jamie

    3

    So good, Anne! A timely and important word. No wonder that early Family grew "day by day."

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