JohnSWilson3 Blog

Gathering Together as Family
December 24, 2011, 4:46 pm
Filed under: 1A - Spiritual Notes

It is interesting how, during this time of year, and others like it, many families come back together, and enjoy a time of gathering together. We make it a point to travel on Christmas Day to my wife’s family’s home and we live with them for a few days enjoying time together. When I was a young boy my family often moved and lived with grand parents or aunts and uncles partly as a means of support, helping the family make ends meet. When the adults got together they each had opportunity to share with each other their joys, hurts, and heartaches, but I can remember how they loved each other just the same. When we visit and spend time with my wife’s family we do the same, as I am sure many families do as well, possibly even yours. We have learned to encourage one another and help each other out, whether with words or service. Yes we have had our conflicts, been self serving, but we have also learned to apologize and respect one another because we’re family.

What is interesting is that as a family we understand life this way but as “church” we do not. Too often “church” is a building, a service, a program, a ministry, an event or thing. At one time, ekklesia, the gathering of the body of Christ, was like gathering as a family, as indeed we really are.

Perhaps as we gather together as family with siblings, parents, grandparents, etc this time of year and whenever we have opportunity maybe we can glimpse the lost life of the ekklesia. In a living room with each giving a gift to one another could we see this differently? Is this not really a type of ekklesia where each member is giving Christ to one another? Out in the back yard enjoying time of play or work could we see this as a time of play or work in Christ? When a conflict arrives as they always do could we see this as an opportunity to be humble, forgive or accept forgiveness, and serve others expressing Christ? This is the heart of God, His desire, to find a place of rest, a home, a family where He can lay His head. Perhaps as we gather together as family we might see a different way of thinking about “church,” that “church” is really gathering together, ekklesia, by faith with love, selflessly giving ourselves to one another.

For those who do not have other brothers and sisters who think this way, perhaps start with your family. Visit and spend time with your relatives, where everyone can learn to be responsible for sharing something of themselves with the family. But then take it one step further, learn to share of Christ in you, His love and grace, with those of your family. When you get back home invite some of your neighbors over, or if you know some brothers and sisters invite them over, spend time together, learning to share with one another, and listen to Christ in you as He begins to find a place of rest in your home or wherever you might gather.

What if every ekklesia had this same thinking and by faith with love decided to no longer go to a building, but spent time together, living a shared life as a real family? May the life of Christ in His ekklesia increase, spread and grow from house-to-house in every neighborhood!

3 Comments so far
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Reblogged this on Snap in a Wink and commented:
This is what was on my heart today as well, what if we learned to function as a Family as the bride of Christ:)

Comment by snapwink

thank you for sharing this, 🙂

Comment by John Wilson

amen, yep, “what if” is the sigh of my heart and sure Christ’s heart as well.

Comment by John Wilson

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