Recently I spent my weekend with family. On Saturday I was with church family, most I had never met before. We were together for a conference/learning experience. On Sunday I spent time in worship with my local church family. I know most of them. I spend time with them. Then, I was with some of my biological family and thinking about our extended family. My extended family is large. I know some better than others, but we share a lot of traits. It was a family weekend!
Family is many things to us. As I watched, heard about, and thought about these different aspects of family, I started thinking about the family of God. In God’s family there are some we know well, and there are some family members we have never met. Some family members share traits with us, but other family members appear completely different from us. Some families members have unique character traits that we are aware of while other family members surprise us with their behavior and responses.
One of our responsibilities is to love the other members of the family of God. This is easier with some members of the family. It is easier to love the members who are like us, who understand us, who are familiar to us. We are not called just to love those who are easier to love. God calls us to love all the members of the family. This includes those who seem very different, those who are not like us, those who are strangers to us, and those who chose a different way of doing and being.
Being a part of the family is not always easy, but the rewards far outweigh the challenges. Stretch yourself to love those who are your brothers and sisters in Christ. Accept the family members who are different. Love one another as Christ has loved you.
Jesus says: A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34