• Jill Jarrell Newsome

We Are Family

Remember the 1980’s song, “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge? “We are family I got all my sisters with me We are family Get up everybody and sing all of the people around us they say Can they be that close Just let me state for the record We're giving love in a family dose!” Our church had another drive through supper this week. As I was writing about it I was thinking about why we do these drive through suppers and what they mean to me. If you are like me, you have missed the fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ. I miss seeing them, hugging them and talking to them. As my mom says about her brother, who is in an assisted living facility, “I just need to lay eyes on him.” We go to visit just to wave through the glass door and hold up signs. I think this is how some of us feel. We just need to lay eyes on each other - even if we cannot hug or visit.

Those who go to church with us are our family and we do need each other. We are people from many places who have become a large extended family to one another. I am reminded of the story of Ruth. Ruth 1: 16, “But Ruth replied, ‘Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.’” Ruth married into Naomi’s family and pledged to remain with Naomi and to join with her people and worship God. At the end of the book of Ruth, Naomi had a grandchild, born to Ruth and a kinsman-­redeemer named Boaz. Boaz married the widowed Ruth and took her mother-in-law, Naomi, into his household. Hope was restored to this family through God’s provision of extended family members who show His love to one another.

Hope is restored to us through God’s provision of our church family who show His love to one another. While we do not consider ourselves blood related - we are related by the blood of Jesus. The early church was a community that relied on one another and called each other brothers and sisters. Christ ministers to us through other believers and to other believers through us. We all have gifts and we are all members of Christ’s body, the church. 1 Corinthians 12: 27, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.”

If you are part of a church family, you do not have to go through life’s ups and downs alone. 1 Corinthians 12: 26, “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” As a participating member you learn to care about others and share the experiences of others. Romans 1; 12, “that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” We were designed for community. Ephesians 2: 21-22, “In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” When we are in regular contact with imperfect believers we learn real fellowship and experience the New Testament truth of being connected and dependent on each other. James 5: 19, “My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth someone should bring that person back,” We should be a source of encouragement for our church family. Hebrews 3: 13, “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called ‘Today,’ so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.” We need our church family and they need us! We are family! If you do not have a church family, ask God to show you where to go. You do not have to go alone - someone will go with you. It is exciting to get to "take a friend". A church family is not complete without YOU!

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