On Sunday we conclude our series All In, in which we’re engaging our mission statement:
Inviting all people to grow into a Christ-centered life in God’s family.
We’ve discussed “inviting all people” and “growing into a Christ-centered life.” On Sunday, we will think about - and celebrate - our adoption into God’s family. The emphasis on the family of God is central to our one-year vision of going “deeper into community and further out in faith.” But, what do you think of when you think of “family”?
The roots of my family tree trace back through Croatia, part of the former Yugoslavia. My great-grandfather
emigrated through Ellis Island, worked his way across America, and settled in the Sacramento Delta. One of his six children was my grandfather Andro, pictured here with my grandma, Mary. (Andro is also my son's middle name)
My grandpa’s love of traditional Croatian foods (think hearty red meat, rich desserts, and strong coffee) caused some challenges to his health throughout his life. And love of such foods has carried on through my father to me. But I’ve realized - especially as my metabolism slows down(!), that I need to keep enjoyment of such treats to a minimum.
This Tuesday, our Session will begin working through a book on the complexity of Christian leadership in our fast paced, ever-changing world. It’s author relates our individual family systems to discuss church families. He writes:
The church is the body of Christ. It is a living organism, a vibrant system. And just like human bodies, human organizations thrive when they are cooperating with the wisdom of God for how that system is designed, how it grows and how it adapts to changing external environments…
[The] family system provides a helpful metaphor for any organizational system. Our churches and organizations are systems - organisms - with a unique life and vitality. They are not mechanistic religious production lines but bodies that need to be tended, cared for, challenged and strengthened so they can adapt to their environment.
And so as we think about our part in God’s family, may we be ever mindful of the ways we can tend, care for, challenge and strengthen our community of faith. “After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church”! (Ephesians 5.29).