Family is a place of grace. The church is meant to be that too.

Family is a place of grace. The church is meant to be that too.

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Its Christmas evening and we are relaxing in front of National Lampoons Christmas Vacation. it’s a very deep movie…. (not!)

Today has been a special day.

Last night we stayed up and watched the carols, and then did the obligatory late shift getting organised for the morning.

There was the normal moment of disorientation for me as I heard excited voices from the lounge room at about 6:30 then I remembered what day it was.

The kids loved their presents, although I’m noticing that each year the gifts decrease in physical size and increase in cost….

A highlight for me was being with four generations of my family.

My grandmother is 94. She grew up without electricity and can remember the events depicted in “the Kings Speech” movie.

Ollie is 2, he loves bubbles and wants to be a musketeer.

The rest of us fit between those two (apart from Bridie who was born this year in the U.K. and couldn’t be with us).

As I looked around the table, and remembered family members who couldn’t be with us, it struck me just how important family is.

Proverbs 17:6 says

Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.

I think I saw a little bit of that today as Mema looked proudly at the generations following in her wake and each generation connected with the one ahead of it.

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There is something special about the way Ollie looks up to my boys, they way Josh and Daniel look up to my brother, and the way that Nat is so proud of my Dad. That’s how is should be.

No matter what you do in your life, family will always be family, at least that is how it’s meant to be.

Families can be complex, but they are important in a way that very few other relationships are.

I think I saw today that when family is at its best, it is a place of grace. It’s a place where you don’t have to prove yourself, where you will always belong and where you will always be loved.

I guess that is what Paul uses the picture of the family to describe what the church is meant to be:

Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Galatians 6:10)

Peter uses the same analogy:

Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor. (1 Peter 2:17)

The writer of Hebrews takes it a step further:

Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.” (Hebrews 2:11-13)

I hope the bit of the body of Christ that you are part of is a family. I hope it is a place of grace. I hope It’s a place where you don’t have to prove yourself, where you will always belong and where you will always be loved.

 

 

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