One body, one family
He created us to be One Body, to be a family.
I grew up in a blended family. I have a brother, sister and two stepbrothers. When my mom and stepdad married, we ranged from age 4 to 11. That’s 5 kids, very close in age. When all 7 of us moved into one house together, it was like a remake of The Brady Bunch! We had our struggles for sure! That December, in 1984 began a whole new chapter in my life. I was sharing a home with 4 siblings. All with different temperaments, opinions, likes and dislikes. There were lots of fights over the years. There were tears shed, objects thrown, possessions broken, and feelings hurt.
I don’t know exactly when it happened, but at some point, this truly became my family. Sure, it technically happened when my parents got married, but at some point, I actually felt it. Because, along with the hard times, there was love too. There was laughter and games, family meals, chores, attempting to stay up all night on Christmas Eve, 4th of July block parties, backyard Easter egg hunts, birthday celebrations, summer vacations, Sunday outings, and long family walks. There were apologies and forgiveness, and there was grace and mercy. There was patience… well, sometimes. The point is, we were united as a family. Each member of my blended family began to feel that this was home. We each had our place in this family. It was no longer step-mom/step-dad or step-brother/step-sister. It was mom & dad, brothers & sisters, sons & daughters.
I see some similarities in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Ephesians 4:1-3 says, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” He is calling us to be unified as a community of believers and as the family of God. It also says that Christ has “equipped his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:12-13. We should work together as a family to bring others into this family.
I feel like we, the Body of Christ, are basically like a blended family. He created us to be One Body, to be a family. We were all fallen sinners who were given grace. That makes us united in God’s family. Let’s be real… sometimes families, even God’s family, have the sore losers, the bad tempers, the annoying younger siblings, the bossy older siblings, the perfectionists, the tattletales, etc… Even so, we are to be humble and gentle, patient and tolerant of one another. And we are to do all of this with love. We are to make EVERY effort to keep this family together, to remain unified and to have peace within this community. But that’s not all. We are also called to work together, to serve so that we may build up the body of Christ.
Now, back to my family… there wasn’t this magic switch, that one day everything became “perfect.” We still disagree, we still get our feelings hurt, and we still get annoyed. But in 1984, we were united as a family and I wouldn’t change it for the world.