In days like this, I also hope and pray that you value your relationship with God, as a child of God, and your relationship with the church, as a part of the Body of Christ. For, when you gave your life to God through Jesus Christ as guided by the Holy Spirit, that is what you did. You became a part of the Body of Christ.
As a part of the Body of Christ, as with any other body, you are only a part if you are connected. If you are not connected, then you are not a part of the body. That does not rob you of your salvation or your Christianity; but, you are robbing yourself of being a part of the best relationship that you will ever have, connection with your other brothers and sisters in Christ.
I would describe it like this. You have absolutely no choice over who you have as a mother and a father. For better or worse, your birth mother and your birth father are your birth mother and your birth father. You cannot do anything about that. And, as a result of your birth mother and birth father, you have kinfolk, those who share the same bloodline with you.
Now, I would draw a distinction between kinfolk, over which you have no choice, and family. You might be thinking, "Are they not one in the same?" My answer would be "sometimes.".
You see, as previously stated, kinfolk share the same bloodline; but, one definition of family is "a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household."
I think the key words in that definition of family is "living together" which suggests they have some things mutually in common for the benefit of each other.
Some of us have kinfolk who we would prefer to have nothing to do with at all. Not easy to share but we know it is true. As a result, we have some kinfolk who are just kinfolk but not necessarily family.
And, some of us have people who we are connected to who treat us much better than our kinfolk ever have. I pray that you have experienced that and are experiencing that in the Body of Christ, the church. For, that is what God has called you into, a family, a church family.
And, as church family, we have a parent at our helm, God. We also have elders who lead us as parents should. We also have brothers and sisters to journey with. We also have children who we are supposed to help to lead. Now, none of these may be our kinfolk; but, they are our family, our church family if...we are living together in the household of faith.
The writer of Hebrews encouraged this family relationship in Hebrews 10:24-25, "And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some."
Beloved, a family should encourage you to be loving. A family should encourage you to think, say and do the right things. A family should desire to spend time together by whatever means are possible and by any means necessary.
BUT, some people who call themselves family, even church family, act more like our dysfunctional kinfolk who we may share the same blood but would prefer not to share our time, talent, or treasure.
It should not be so in the Body of Christ and it starts with you and me.
In this time of COVID19, we have been given an incredible opportunity by God to show the world what it means to be church family. Some are seizing it and some are laying it to the side.
We will all come through this time better and stronger if we stay connected, virtually or in person when possible.
Do not miss this rich opportunity in your life. For, on the other side of COVID19, and I am trusting that God is going to take us to the other side of COVID19, I want to know that we have truly been family, church family, to and for each other. So, stay connected.
We are connecting for Noonday Prayer today and our fourth Summer Mini Lesson this evening at 6:30pm. It has never been easier for you to connect. Praise God.
Honor God by taking advantage of what God has provided and stay connected.
And, remember, God loves you and I love you too!