What role do you play in your family? Do you have things that you are in charge of? When we used to go camping as a family we each had different roles to play – especially when it came to putting up the tent. My role was sorting out the poles, and then putting them all together and pegs! My mum was definitely in charge and we knew we had to follow her instructions. There were often disagreements and frustrations but the tent always got put up!
Our final ‘I am’ statement that comes with our Easter identity is “I am part of His family”. Your response to this statement will be dependent upon your view of family. I definitely have gone through the frustrated and annoyed response to my family but on the whole I know that my family are people who I share a lot with who will be there to support me when I need it.
So… what does it mean to be a part of His family… God’s family?
Two weeks ago I had to actually pop back up to Birmingham to see my parents. When I was there I went to St. Giles Church on the Sunday. This was the church where I was baptised, where I attended junior church, went to confirmation classes, and actually worked for a year. It was so lovely to be able to go a place which really does feel like family. These were people who have been a part of my life, who have known me, loved me, supported me – I wouldn’t be the person I am now if it hadn’t been for St Giles Church.
I’ve also been to many churches in the country and around the world, and what I love, is the fact that we may have differences about the way in which we worship, and what biscuits we should have but there are many things which we share, especially the love of God and the love of others. This is what it means to be a part of God’s family.
As with all families there will be disagreements, there will be people who will drive us potty, there will be upset, there will be joy… but the love of God and the love of each other will be central. As with our own families each of us will have different roles but each of those are important. A couple of weeks ago Lou Funnell led worship at school and gave everyone a piece of jigsaw to demonstrate that we are all unique but fit together to make a fantastic picture. In a church we need people who can welcome, who can lead, who can sing, who can move furniture…. This is reflected in our thought of the week which says “We each belong to and are needed in the family of God”
Christianity is based on relationships. If we look at God, we have the trinity, each of whom have a role to play God the father – creator and sustainer. God the Son – example, teacher, saviour. God the Holy Spirit – guide and enabler. This is just to name a few. Relationships are essential in all aspects of life, they enable us to see what our role is but also to see that we need other people. Jesus was constantly in relationship as well, he had his 3 closest disciples who were part of the group of the 12 disciples, and we are also told that he sent out 72. The first thing he did after his baptism and time in the desert was to develop a group of people around him. You see his frustrations with them at times, and he still had times of solitude, but the main thing you see is a group of people who ate together (a very important part of being in God’s family) cried together, laughed together, learned together. Jesus’ ministry wouldn’t have worked if he hadn’t been in that relationship, and if he hadn’t shown how important it was.
We have already looked at what it means to be a child of God, and now to see that that means that we are part of a family as well – wow! Over the next week there is a global prayer movement entitled “thy kingdom come” this is one fantastic example of the family of God coming together to make a difference in the world! What part can you play?
Prayer: thank you God that we are adopted in to your family. May we know that we are not on our own but are part of a worldwide movement of people who all love you. Thank you that you demonstrate what it is to be in relationship, and may we learn the role we have to play and how we can rely on other people as well. Amen
Challenge: look into thy kingdom come and see what you can do as a family at home to join in with the family of God.