Famous Last Words: Family

Haitian Orphans

My friend, Michelle, is about to add two new members to her family. No, she’s not having twins. She and her husband are adopting two orphaned children from Haiti. Knowing a little about the complexities of their experience with foreign adoption, I know she would be quick to say that bringing a baby into a family the natural way is considerably quicker and far less painful than the birth pangs of adoption! But when these precious children finally (very soon) step into their new household, they will arrive as full members. While they won’t bear much of a family resemblance, their appearance has no bearing at all on the truth that they are -and will forever be- 100% part of my friend’s family.

You know, something similar happens to us when we become followers of Jesus Christ. Through His sacrifice and our faith in Him, God adopts us into His family and makes us His own forever. That means that we, not only gain a heavenly Father, but also a legion of new spiritual brothers and sisters too!

I think that’s part of what Jesus helped His disciples understand when He uttered his third statement from the cross.

 “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” ~ John 19:26-27.

Of course, His words were full of compassion for his grieving mom, but there was likely more to it than that since this wasn’t the first time that Christ broadened the definition of what it means to be a ‘blood relative.’ In Mark 3, He made it clear that He considered “those who do God’s will” (vs 34) to be members of His family.

So, while His followers stood at the foot of a cross staring up at Him, Jesus joined John and Mary together as perhaps the very first spiritual relatives to be sealed together by His precious blood.

I love this picture, because after all, what are believers today but followers who also stand at the foot of His cross, forever changed by our relationship to Him, and forever bound together with the host of other believers as new relatives! Lines of race, nationality, gender, and ethnicity dissolve and fade as we are redefined forever as spiritual ‘blood relatives.’

In today’s world of prejudice, fear and mistrust, Jesus calls His people to think differently… to live differently. We must learn to look beyond our personal inner circles… beyond the comfort of the familiar … and to take Christ words to heart… and endeavor to love, care for, and accept other believers, treating them as our own precious family.

14 thoughts on “Famous Last Words: Family

  1. Your POST Karen, reminded me of the words written by Bill and Gloria Gaither based on a bible verse in 2 Corinthians 6:6, 18:
    “From the door of an orphanage to the house of the King- No longer an outcast, a new song I sing; From rags unto riches, from the weak to the strong, I’m not worthy to be here, But, praise God, I belong! I’m so glad a part of the family of God- I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood! Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod, For I’m part of the family, the family of God.” Hey, as part of the family, we’re “joint heirs” with Jesus.

  2. Karen, what a wonderful beginning to a post about Christ’s love and sacrifice as he shared with Mary and others. Your friend Michelle’s love to adopt children into her home touches my heart because there are so many little ones that need people like her to give them a greater advantage in receiving love. And the way you shared your thoughts about Christ, adopting us into His family is beautiful. Thanks.

    1. Yes, her story is wonderful. I’m just waiting for the day these beautiful children are safe under her roof! Thanks for your thoughts, Walter!

  3. Amen, what a beautiful picture of our Father as the Father to the fatherless. Some pastor’s and I were talking about this very topic last night at class. It is a beautiful way to express the love and tenderness that God showed us through the cross. We were the orphans, God built a house and mankind walked out the door through sin. The Father opened the door through Jesus to bring us home secure. God bless

  4. Wow, this is so important for us today, with all the things happening around the world that threaten to tear us apart. God’s family is one of the most important things we can nurture throughout the weeks ahead.
    Thankful I was your neighbour over at the CBCE today, Karen!

    1. We as God’s family must be ever vigilant to not respond according to the flesh and thus mimic the world. It’s our job to move by the Spirit and be the body of Christ in this world! Thanks Christine!

  5. What a beautiful picture, Karen. After moving away from my family several years ago I found that our church family became like blood relatives. I became closer to some of them than members of my own family. I’m so thankful that when we are in Christ, we become sisters and brothers in him. Thank you for sharing this.

  6. Loved your post. I am an intercessor for neglected and abused children. I love the comment you made at the end, that we cannot be fearful or prejudiced bc God calls us to think differently. Prayers for your friend and the orphans in Haiti. I am your neighbor at CBCE.

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