19 So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. 20 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. 21 We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. 22 Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit. (NLT)
For many of us the idea of family is not something that is comforting. When someone mentions a family to us we are likely to mention all of the wrongs we can see in a family, such as brokenness, disputes, frustrations, and unmet expectations. The mere focus on family can sometimes bring up unresolved hurts and pain that we just do not want to talk about.
Yet, Paul, in Ephesians 2:19-22, uses the imagery of family to describe our participation in the kingdom of God. He says we are members of God’s family as the Lord’s very own children. Why would Paul use this imagery? I think because even though our families can be the places of such deep pain, they can also be the places of unexpected grace, connection, hope, and joy.
Within this image of family we are reminded that we are connected together. We are all one in Christ and part of the Lord’s kingdom. It is a family built upon our relationship with the Lord, each other, and the world.
This image of a family also helps us in understanding what it means to be generous. We would never want to see any member of our family hurting or with need. If someone in our family is hurting we would do everything we could to help them out.
The same is true when the image of family is expanded to how God sees family. For if we are all God’s children, every one of us, then our desire to care for others is akin to caring for a member of our family. We care for the world, because we do not want to see anyone in God’s family without.
We are all members of God’s family. How have you loved your family today?