This week has sort of blown my mind, really! People from all walks of life, from all around the world coming together to help other people, to welcome them. It’s the time of year we think a lot about our family, a really good thing! What is interesting is that we have a new family too. The Scriptures talk about our new family being the kingdom of God, not just our blood relatives. It’s those that are related to us through a different blood. We were all outside this family, but because of Jesus, we have access to the same Father, the same Spirit.
Even if you don’t believe in the Scriptures, let me show some evidence from this week of the new family I am talking about:
Sunday, I watched hundreds of people pull together to help provide for local elementary kids and families that they have never and may never meet. Welcome to the family neighborhood.
Sunday night, I watched people from literally all around the world in several different languages come online and respond to an offer for a new life. They experienced community online with strangers that had nothing in coming and everything in common, shared struggles, prayers and passion. Welcome to the family Irish, Japanese, American.
Monday, I spoke with forty teachers at a local school to talk about how to work together to take care of families that are experiencing hardship. Our church bought them lunch. Welcome to the family teachers.
Sunday, I heard a friend open up to a group of strangers at church about how she has been sober for a week. Welcome to the family friend.
Sunday, I watched friends write letters to soldiers half way around the world thanking them and inviting them to Church Online. Welcome to the family soldiers.
That same day, I saw three families come together to talk about how to provide a Thanksgiving meal for a single neighborhood mom that they heard about but didn’t know. Welcome single mom.
This week we got a call from a local refugee agency asking for coats for hundreds of refugees new to the US that are freezing this week without coats. People are already jumping on the opportunity. Welcome refugee families.
So think about it. It doesn’t matter who you are, how you got here, what church you go to, or what your last name is, you are a part of a bigger family and you are welcome! When you think about family this next week, think about who else may be included.
How can you include them? How can you welcome them and let them know they are family? Does this change the rules for who is family??