Mt 12:48 A long time ago, around my first real struggle with the faith I was raised in I had this verse quoted to me.
I had started seeking God outside the confines of forced church with mom every week.
We had a falling out and I was no longer living at home but with some friends. I was worried that I had lost my mom completely. She was no longer speaking to me at the time and I had no idea how that would work out.
Along with that I was experiencing God for the first time as a result of my actively seeking Him.
My pastor at the time George Asnip saw me at church and he could tell something was wrong. I kind of gave him a quick overview of the problems and he quoted that scripture.
Jesus asked, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then he pointed to his disciples and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!” Mt 12:48150 NLT
Over time my relationship with my mom was restored and I think its pretty healthy these days. It was at that time though that I looked at the church for the first time as family. Not that they could replace that bond between a child and his/her mother but family none the less.
It was then I realized that no matter where I found myself. Thru thick or thin as long as I had a church family I had a family.
As with my biological family there will be rifts from time to time. Heck there will be people I just don’t care for.
As a family though I try desperately not to let that come between how I treat them.
I’ve wrapped my mind around that as a pastor now. I’ve realized that even if I don’t necessarily like to be around that crazy family member (we all have one) its still my responsibility to love them. To treat them well and to minister and care for them.
I put that to practice at church in the confines of LifePoint and I pray God helps me to broaden His love thru me to those that are families in a different house.
Two parents get a divorce, unreconcilable differences being cited. Their child lives with the mom in a house on one side of town. The father on the other side of town.
As time wears on both parents remarry and have more children.
Still the child from that original union loves the father, brothers and sisters in that other house.
So I pray is my love for those in other churches. To treat a stranger as a brother regardless. To reflect the family dynamic to all I come in contact with as Christ has reflected it to us. We are all children of one God in different houses.
Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!”
Who is your brother and your sister? Here is a hint. They are in the pews next to you week in and week out. Get to know them. Serve with them.
Most importantly understand that as a family it's ok to disagree and to have spats from time to time. Love first though and the rest will fall into place
Thanks for reading