You cannot choose your family. I can’t just decide one day that I’m fed up with my parents and brothers and sisters and exchange them somewhere for some others. I can’t pick up the scissors and simply cut the ties between my brother and sister and say that I no longer have any family. Even less can I turn to my friends and sign something to become part of their family. As they say, you’re issued with a family and you have to put up with them until the end of your life.
The author of Ephesians uses the image of a family to illustrate what Jesus achieved for us: Jesus made it possible for us to be entered into the family of God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit: 19That’s plain enough, isn’t it? You’re no longer wandering exiles. This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone.
Jesus achieved what we could not. You see, the Fall brought about a break in our relationship with God. We did things that alienated us from God, resulting in our expulsion from God’s family. We were like the brother in prison. Everybody knew about us, but nobody talked about us.
However, Jesus’ death repaired the relationship between us and God, with the result that we are no longer unfamiliar to God and He is no longer unfamiliar to us. The family ties have been repaired. But more than that, we again share in the benefits of being part of God’s family and together with Jesus we become heirs. We can get to know God again. We can live on the family farm and receive the promises every day. Together with the rest of our family we can again enjoy life and live in harmony.
But together with the family comes a lot of responsibility. We must care for one another. I still remember that as the youngest of six I was always at the bottom of the pile. I still remember how my brothers chased me around trying to hit my heels with homemade darts. But I also remember how they stood up for me when the hordes out there tried to get to me. Then blood was thicker than water and they would fight for me through thick and thin.
That is the responsibility that we have towards our fellow family members in Christ. We must stand up for one another. Through thick and thin. Sometimes we have to encourage one another to live right. Sometimes we have to defend the other one. Sometimes we have to carry the other one along the road of life for a bit. That is what family does for one another.
Jesus achieved much. His crucifixion made us family again. He also made it so that we are no longer unfamiliar to God and He gave us a lot of brothers and sisters. Let’s look out for one another. Let’s help one another get through life. Let’s live together like real family.
Who is your family?
Do they care for you?
Do you care for them?
Jesus, thank you that God knows me. Thank you that I am now included in a new family. Thank you for brothers and sisters. Please help me see their need and help me to help them when they need someone. Amen