We are all a part of a family. Some families are crazier than others, some are more “Brady Bunch” than others. Families come in all different shapes, sizes, personality types. But the thing that makes a family is our willingness to be in the lives of each other. To dive deep into a relationship with each other. To aide each other in whatever is needed. To love unconditionally and relentlessly. There are so many aspects that make us a family. And for the most part we are proud of the family we are a part of.
Now as Christians we talk about being a part of a different kind of family. A family not created by anything earthly, but one that comes straight from heaven. One that is created by God and fulfilled in Jesus Christ. It is a family that brings together all the components that make a family a family, but does it in perfection. Through Jesus we have created a new kind of family, a family that will last for ever. A perfect family, filled with unconditional love. But also a family that creates a gap between “us” and “them”, between the “saved” and the “lost”, between the “circle” and the “world”.
As I have thought about our lives in Christ living in the world, and as I have reflected on our lives as children of God, I have come to a conclusion. There is no difference between me and my neighbor except a relationship with Jesus. I am just as lost as he is without Jesus. I need Jesus in ever aspect of my life as much as my neighbor does. But here is the other truth that must be swallowed. My neighbor is my brother or sister. Not because they are in Jesus, but because they were thought up and made by the Creator of the universe. Because they are children of God, just as I am. Mother Teresa once wrote, “Let us not forget that we are dealing with our brothers and sisters. That leper, that sick person, that drunk, are all our brothers and sisters. They, too, have been created by a greater love. This is something we should never forget.”
To some this might sound like elementary thoughts. But here is the thing. I think it changes the way we see and treat people. When I no longer treat them like an outsider who needs to come in, but instead treats them like a brother or sister who has been away from the family for a long time and I want them back. Think about in your life. If your siblings were to leave the family and disappear or get into trouble, to what length would you go to show your love for them and bring them back home? Why would you go to that length? Why would you put up with the pain that would come with finding them and the hurt that would come along the way? Because if they are your family, you will do whatever it takes and go where ever you have to to get them back. Because you love them unconditionally, just like your Father.
Seeing the world like this and truly believing it changes everything, your eyes see things differently and your heart acts differently. A different family? I don’t think so. One family, with a lot of messed up members…YES! All striving to know Jesus and bring the rest of the family into His loving embrace!