Was it just me or was it hard to adjust to having Christmas and New Years day on Sunday? In our house, the rhythm of everything just seemed a little off. Not opening presents on Christmas day, trying not to stay up too late on New Years eve, having the Rose Parade on January 2nd (we live in Pasadena), made for an unusual holiday around our house. Interestingly, Christmas and New Years won’t fall on Sunday again until 2033. With all of that, it was still a good time to be with family.
The idea of family, both our birth family and our spiritual family, is extremely important. In the bible, God speaks to the great value of both. From the very beginning in Genesis, God ordained marriage and family. Much of the story of the Old Testament follows the lines of families – fathers, mothers, children, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, and uncles. Families were to look after and care for each other. And for better or worse, our families are the ones who know us best and who know what we’re like when our guard is down, which can be a little scary to think about.
Scripture of course also teaches us the idea of the spiritual family. When we make a decision to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, we are born or adopted into the family of God, and God becomes our Father. I John 3:1 says “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” Not only do we gain a Heavenly Father, but other Christians become our brothers and sisters. Mark 12:49-50 says, “pointing to his disciples, Jesus said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother’”
As a church then, who seeks to do the will of God, we are to grow as FAMILY. Like our birth families, we seek to be spiritual brothers, sisters, aunts, and uncles to each other. That means looking after and caring for each other, and getting to know each other better. This can be scary at times but we step out and do it together in order to be the family God wants us to be.