The Fountain Pen, Centre Wellington Edition

All in the Family

Web posted on August 13, 2017

Hey Jude!

A guest column from Pastor Ron Klein

I recently attended my wife's family reunion for the first time in the past 22 years. It turns out that my long absence did not disqualify me from family membership. The same applies to God's family. Gratefully rejoice that you are accepted in Christ. God the Father does not change. He does not forget you, nor does He fall out of love with you. There is nothing that you can do to earn His love. You belong because of His grace.

I discovered that my wife's extended family had grown considerably. No one assigned me the job of determining who truly belonged and who did not. Throughout history people going by the name of "Christian" have tried to take on this role regarding God's family. Do not waste time and energy trying to take on a role that belongs to God. It is an odd human habit to be so intent on excluding people. Jesus told a parable of allowing the wheat and weeds to grow together. They would be justly separated at the end of the age. (Matthew 13:24-30)

Both our social and spiritual families can be a source of joy and pain. We often do not behave the way family members should behave toward one another. The Bible is brutally honest about this and full of stories of family dysfunction and forgiveness (Cain and Able, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, Joseph, David, Luke 15 prodigal sons). We are to see and relate to each other as our Father sees and relates to us.

May we spend our time and energy inviting people into the family and treating them as family members ought to treat each other. "Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. ... show hospitality to strangers." (Hebrews 11:1-2) Our reunion with our grand Father has begun and continues for eternity. Let us all witness to and live out what is so grand about our common Father, becoming a community of love to His glory.

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The Rev'd Ron Klein is the pastor at Costalegre Community Church in Melaque, MX (costalegrecommunitychurch.com). Melaque is a Pacific coast fishing village and tourist spot a half hour North of Manzanillo, MX. The church functions year-round, with an attendance of several hundred during the months of October through April. They have a significant ministry among the local schools, poor, and elderly. During the "off" months Pastor Klein stays in touch with his dispersed congregation through a monthly meditation. Today's column is his meditation for August. Pastor Klein can be reached at costalegrecommunitychurch@gmail.com. Pastor Klein and his wife Nancy spend their summers in Bismarck, ND.
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