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The Ultimate Extended FamilyPosted Tuesday, July 26, 2011, at 7:18 AM
"For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother." (Jesus of Nazareth, Matthew 12.50, KJV)
"The Bible teaches us to love everyone, but you don't have to like everyone" (my father)
In the summer of our espousal, 1965, one of our engagement sacraments was to travel across the Great State of Missouri to a small town in the extreme northwest part of that state named "Hale." If you were from this area and pronounced the town's name as dictated by the local affectation, it sounded just like a certain bad word.
The purpose of this trip was to attend the Allen Family Reunion, consisting of the numerous prodigy and descendants of Kay's grandpa Allen. By this point in the history of the world there were already cousins and second cousins Kay did not know on sight. Come these 45 years later one has to think there would be a great many who might attend such a gathering of whom no one would know all of they thus gathered.
But, if it's family, it's family. With family you love them whether you know them or not, and sometimes even though you do know them. That's the way it is, you take what's handed you.
Something like that happens in today's churches.
We've attended Christ Community Church for 15 years. Along the way many have come and gone, and a few passed. There are those I know by name, and many more I know only by sight. I try hard to put names to faces, but the church keeps growing faster than memory memorizes. I keep saying the problem with CCC is that "every week a dozen new people I never saw before." And, there is no good way to know what the status of the relationship. Overall this is probably a good situation.
At the start of Sunday service we have a time of wandering about greeting our brothers and sisters in the Lord. If you stand on the balcony steps and watch these goings-on, you might, as I did, think of the words of Tertullian: "Look how they love one another" ("Apology", circa 200 AD).
One thing I've observed is that you take church people at their word. In a Chapel service Author-Evangelist Carl Ketcherside said something to this effect: "I call any man my brother until he proves otherwise. If he proves not a brother in Christ, I'll probably be related through Adam."
I have a sister, Diane, and we had a brother, Terry. We are children of the same parents and grew up together in a loving Christian home. There are none I felt closer to in my father's house. If you are a Christian sister or brother I will relate to you the same way I did to my sister and brother no matter how far out on the family tree you reside. I do this because, according to the Word, brother and sister is what we are (until you prove otherwise). If I don't remember seeing you at church before, Welcome to the ultimate extended family!
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