The tag-line we have chosen for our new logo, “Where Church is Family” is especially appropriate for us considering our experience over the past year. The lockdown in many cases created a lockout for many of us in regard to our church family relationships. I can’t help but draw parallels to my biological family relationships.
Our children all live in Arkansas and our mothers live in Alabama. For most of the year we were stuck in the middle (literally, in Mississippi) close to four hours drive from both. Our busy lifestyles, job situations, and health concerns kept us from our normal visits and holiday celebrations. We talked a lot on the phone. We Zoomed and Facetimed each other. We even arranged to make a few “socially distanced” in person activities, but it was just not the same. In our case, we are a close-knit family group, so while difficult; the year didn’t prove devastating to our relationships. However, I know that is not the case with all families and certainly not with many in the church.
For many churches the lockdown has devastated church attendance, contribution, Bible school programs, ministries, spiritual growth,
discipleship efforts, and personal relationships. The Boise church has not been spared these difficulties. However, for many of us (perhaps most), our spiritual maturity and close-knit relationships have allowed us to survive this ordeal. Not everyone can make that claim and even those of us who can, have suffered.
This is why we need to remember that our church is family. We are the children of God. He is our Father. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. The church is called the household (family) of God (John 1:12; Matthew 5:23-24, 6:9, 12:50; Ephesians 1:5, 2:19; 1 Timothy 3:15).
As family, we have relationships with each other that need to be cultivated, nurtured, and grown. This is where the Bible speaks of the one-another bond we share. Allelon, “one another” is a reciprocal pronoun found one hundred times in the Greek New Testament. It is usually translated “one another” or “each other” and used as a direct object like in John 13:34, “Love one another.” It is word that describes a relationship which, as in this case, is mutual and reciprocal. We are commanded to reciprocally love one another as Jesus’ disciples.
This mutuality is the subject of my latest series of messages. I’m using the term one-anothering to describe the behavior we are to exhibit in our relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Last week I spoke on our need to encourage, strengthen, motivate one another. This week we will discuss the need to pray for and confess our sins to each other and the many ways the Bible teaches that we are to help each other. Please join us!
Have a Great week! Joey