There's a Reason We Call It a Church Family

This week I want to take a moment to encourage each of you to really lean into your All Saints family. We all fill our days moving from one sphere to another. We have our coworkers, our immediate family, our extended family, and our friends. If we have school-aged children, we have our school community (or maybe several!) as well. Perhaps you are involved in a civic organization or a group that is built around a particular interest. If the church is just one sphere among many in your life, I’d like to challenge you to think differently about it.
Among the spheres listed above, one clearly takes priority over any of the others, and I suspect we would all agree on which one: the family. It’s no surprise, then, that Scripture uses the family as an example of the Church and even refers to us as family members. The Bible uses this language in order to reorient our relationships and teach us that the Church is not merely one sphere among many in our lives but the most important community to which we belong. In the Old Testament, the people of God were physically related to one another—a family descended from Jacob. And even when God instructs Moses on the place of the gentiles (Exodus 12), he says that a gentile converting to faith in the true God ceases to be a foreigner but is considered an Israelite—a member of the family. We could go to many places in the New Testament to illustrate this same truth, but Ephesians 2 is sufficient. There Paul says gentiles were once outside the family, but now, in Christ, they are members of the household of faith and heirs of the promises. Only members of the family can be heirs. On top of this, we are taught to call one another brotherand sister. In Luke 8:21, Jesus says of the crowd following him, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”
What does all of this mean for our All Saints family? We’ll answer that question next week.
Your fellow servant of Christ,
Pastor Matt