by Pastor Lehmann
Posted on September 25, 2018 1:33 AM
"So, how's your family? Tell me about 'em." Most of us have encountered a question like that in conversation - usually with someone we're getting to know for the first time, but occasionally with someone we're catching up with.
And itâ€™s usually not too hard to come up with the basic info about our backgrounds - father and mother, siblings, grandparents, etc. - and about who is in our homes and lives today - spouse, children, grandchildren, etc. We share that information with the expectation that others will share theirs with us; itâ€™s a common and expected exchange, because this is one of the ways we get a fix on who people are: who your family is reveals a lot about who you are (or are not).
The same goes spiritually: being in the family of God reveals (or should reveal) a lot (ideally, everything) about who you are (and are not). God is your Father. Jesus Christ is your Brother. And all the saints - saved, sanctified believers in God's work and promises - of every place and age are your brothers and sisters.
We live in a culture in which "identity" is an increasingly common catchword. People "identify" as this or that and then claim that that identity means they should be understood or dealt with in a certain way. As Christians, we identify as children of God, and as a congregation, we identify as the family of God, but we make no claims for special treatment because of this. Instead, we let that identity define us and guide how we live and speak and think - everything we are and do. We can imagine our heavenly Father seeing us to the door as we, his kids, go out into the world, and him saying, "Remember who you are!" And we will, because we are proud of the family name we carry, and we donâ€™t want in any way, ever, to sully it or bring it into disrepute.
The Family of God will be our theme for the 2018-2019 Ministry Year here at Christ Lutheran Church. We won't be doing a special sermon series, but we will be returning to the theme regularly, and connecting to it in sermons, articles, Bible classes, and more. It is a topic worthy of special emphasis at this time in our congregation's life, as we consider what it means to have been a family of faith in this place for 25 years. Every day we make choices about what to think, say, or do, and remembering whose family we belong to can make a huge difference. In the same way, our life together as a church - the decisions we make, the things we do, the way we deal with each other - is guided and enriched by our remembering that we are not just some social club or charity, but the very family of God. It makes a difference.
So watch this space and listen carefully over the next 12 months as we focus on who we are because God is our Father. We have a lot to learn and remember - and the greatest family ever.