So I’ve been thinking a lot about the church lately…
You might say, “Well, of course. You’re doing a church planting internship!”
Yes, that’s true, but that’s only part of it. Another part of it is simply the fact that I see local churches everywhere I go, whether in Omaha or in the Des Moines area.
Baptist churches, Catholic churches, Lutheran churches, Presbyterian churches, Congregational churches, Reformed churches, Community churches, non-denominational churches, First churches, and last churches.
Add to that the fact that I just took a seminary module covering church history from the Reformation until now, and you have just a small glimpse into my recent mind matter.
I could talk about the church history that I’ve been reading lately, but it was more ugly than it was godly, and I don’t want to write about wars and heresy and corruption right now. Look it up online and you can get your fill from other sources.
Rather, I just want to reflect for a moment on the beauty of the family of God, the body of Christ.
This morning I enjoyed a great time of ministry, worship, exhortation, and fellowship at our little church plant here in Bennington, NE. We gathered as a group of like-minded believers to give to God, to give to one another, and to receive blessing and joy from both.
Since we do not have Sunday evening services, tonight I went to Park Lane Baptist Church, the congregation that is providing me with housing during my first month here in Nebraska. They had a chili feed and invited me over for the fellowship.
As I sat at the table and talked to some friendly people I had never met before, I was reminded that these are my brothers and sisters in Christ! We are all family, even though we might have only known each other for a few short minutes.
We have the privilege as believers to enjoy a special relationship with every other person born into the family of God. No club or association enjoys the Christian fellowship we enjoy because we are bound by something that goes much deeper.
It’s an eternal tie…yes, we are literally blood relatives (Romans 5:8-9).
Unlike the earthly connections and families that will ultimately dissolve, we will forever be children of God and thus one big glorified family (Mark 3:33-35; Matthew 22:30). Every time we meet another believer for the first time, we’re meeting another one of our relatives.
Since we are all saved by grace, you could even say that each time you are meeting a “long-lost” brother or sister (for those of you who like to play on words).
One final thought for myself and for you. One of my sisters in Christ tonight asked me, “So do you come from a big family?” I smiled and told her that I was the oldest of eight children. She commented on how nice it is to be in a big family.
It’s true. So what are we doing to grow our spiritual family? Are we seeking to add brothers and sisters to our nucleus, or are we content with the size it is now?