Families

October 24, 2019


Leadership Notes


Only 239 more days till summer. I don't know why I'm leading with that. It just sounds like a good thing.


Meanwhile, after a slow start to fall colors, as I was out and about yesterday, it seemed like the perfect October day. Last Saturday, the 19th, our youngest granddaughter did her annual birthday trip for Trick-or-Treating at the Toledo Zoo. She wore a "Henry Danger" costume {from one of her favorite Nickelodeon TV shows}. I thanked God for the beauty of that day. Truth is, though, anywhere with family is a beautiful day.


We're heading into the holidays in leaps and bounds. Talk about family time. Some dread the forced togetherness that the holidays bring, where there's mere tolerance of family members they rarely see, while others can hardly wait for the chance to catch up with what's happening in the lives those they don't get to see on a regular basis. November and December bring a mixed bag of family expectations.


{Segue}


So, I read a provocative quote the other day. "One of the acceptable idolatries among evangelical Christians is the idolatry of the family." There are churches, especially in growing suburbs, whose ministries are primarily focused on family and marriage. I get it. That's important. God created marriage and family as a way to grow life and build His church.

I take a more inclusive approach, which is informed by Mark 3:31-35. In Jesus' view, family doesn't come first. God's family is open to all, which is everyone who does the will of God and desires to walk the road of discipleship with Jesus Christ. So, we try to broaden our understanding of family. As we move through these special holiday months, I know there are a variety of expressions of family here at Covenant Church. We are the Body of Christ, God's family, made up of many different manifestations of what a family is. God's family is open to all.

You will never hear family narrowly defined here at Covenant Church. First and foremost, our family is the Family of God, adopted as brothers and sister in Christ.


As pastor Kevin DeYoung put it:


God has given us many gifts in this life. Money is a gift. Sex is a gift. Work is a gift. Athletic ability and musical skill are gifts; so are intelligence and beauty. No one doubts that all of these good things can be idols. Just like the family. The conjugal family - one man and one woman whose covenant union produces offspring - is profoundly good, a necessary and foundational element of God's creational design. But it is not ultimate. At least not if we are defining family as the natural relationships we have by marriage and blood, rather than the supernatural relationships we have by the blood of Christ.


I love my wife and my sons and my granddaughters. I love my family. And I love my forever family, brought together by devotion to Jesus Christ, and held together by a desire to serve him. All of us, together, as we grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ, get to experience the eternal heavenly family God has called us into.


Be of Good Cheer,


Richard

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