Finding lessons for the church in the family
From the very beginning, the names tell this story. Eve is named the “the mother all living” (Genesis 4:1) so show her place in his family. God changed Abram’s name from the pagan “Exalted Father” to “Father of a Great Family”, Abraham, to emphasize the importance of family in God’s plan.
The family stories of Isaac and Jacob, of Moses and David, form the framework for THE story of God’s salvation plan. We know family is important because it is toward families that Satan’s attacks are aimed – Abel’s murder, Abraham’s lies, Aaron and Miriam’s rebellion, David’s adultery. As dysfunctional as these families were, God was still faithful. Seth was born; Sarah was saved; Moses was vindicated and David’s house was established.
This is the lesson for the church today. As dysfunctional as we are, God is still faithful. It is still in the church – where the catechism reminds us the gospel is preached, the Sacraments celebrated and discipline practiced – where God’s story is told. The stories of our families are woven together into THE story of God’s salvation plan.
Usually the church speaks to the family, but during October we are going to let the family speak to the church. This is the connection Paul makes in Ephesians 5 when he moves from the surprise of family to the mystery of the church:
For this reason “a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery – but I am talking about Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:31-32)
For the next three weeks, we’ll learn from God’s plan for the family:
- membership – what it means to belong to Jesus and his forever family;
- modesty – how we respect ourselves and each other so we can get the mission accomplished;
- magnanimity – how our “big souls” allow us to open our lives to each other.
October will be a great month to get excited about being part of the ACRC family! Let’s worship the God who “sets the lonely in families!” (Psalm 68:6)
With you in on the mission, douglas
Pastor Doug Fakkema, Anacortes CRC