For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Therefore you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens of the saints and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the cornerstone. Ephesians 2:18-20
Picture a group of believers having dinner together and you are among them. You are strangers to each other and so each of you begins to tell a little about yourself; where you grew up, your early life, current family status, etc. If you’re reading this and thinking, “That sounds like fun. . .” then you probably have a past without much shame. You are eager for it to be your turn but if your story was significantly challenging, you probably dread the time all eyes will be on you. Feelings of shame will rise up in your throat.
For each story where the Gospel has shaped families, I praise God. For each story where the Gospel has saved families, I praise God. I want to remind every woman who is reading this and feeling shame over her past that, as God’s child, she has a 2nd family. Each of us have two births, a physical and spiritual, and each has two families, a physical and a spiritual. Regardless of how unrighteous our family of origin was, our spiritual family makes up for it.
Consider this quote from Methodist Theologian, Christopher Hall. For the church fathers, the Scripture was to be studied, pondered, and exegeted within the context of worship, reverence, and holiness. Now, they are connected to you and you can tell their story as your own.
Each of us has giants of faith in our spiritual lineage. Imagine if we could begin our testimony this way ~“My story is full of darkness and light. My earthly father left when I was four years old. I never knew him. But in God’s providence, I became His child and He is my Father. I know Him well and can tell you countless stories of how He is graciously fathering me.” Now that’s a testimony that can, and should, be common among all of us. The thread of God’s fatherhood binds us together and we share the common experience of finding God to be glorious and personal. Who is in my spiritual family?
- My sister, Hannah. Besieged by hard times. Driven to the temple by grief. The object of longterm ridicule and the scourge of barrenness, which was understood in her culture as God’s curse. The recipient of a miracle in the conception of Samuel. The author of one of the greatest songs of faith and praise in all of scripture. I Samuel 1My brother, David. Th
- My brother, David. The least of his brothers. Raised under God’s watchful care in far off fields as a shepherd. Achieved prominence as a musician who could sing away demonic. Suffered as a result of sinning boldly. Known for worshipping just as boldly. Characterized as someone who felt quick remorse over his own sin. Remembered as a man after God’s heart.
Remind me that I have a rich spiritual heritage and waiting inheritance. Amen