Last week we began to consider about the most significant biblical image for the Church.
Which is, by the way, the FAMILY.
Yes, there are lots of others. Very good ones.
Like Bride, Vineyard, Flock, Kingdom, Temple, Body, the New Israel, etc.
However, the biggest New Testament image of the Church, however, is……
> God is our Father through faith in Jesus, and through receiving the Holy Spirit (Gal 3:26; 4:6, 7).
> Jesus is our elder brother (Romans 8:29; Hebrews 2:10-18).
> “Brother and sister” is the most common word for Christians in the letters of the New Testament.
> Baptism is the symbol of our adoption into the family of the triune God (Matthew 28:19).
> Jesus himself said that those who live their lives in the will of the Father in Heaven are his brothers and sisters (Matthew 12:50).
We in the Church are the Family of Jesus.
You could say, actually, that here at Calvin Church
we are one household within the Global Family of God in Christ.
And we have certain characteristics that we think help us understand who we are as part of that family.
They’re on the front of our weekly bulletin.
As a family we BOW DOWN.
That’s the first characteristic. (The others will come in future weeks).
We bow down – that is, as individuals and as a collective family, we submit our lives to One who is the Head, the authority, of our family.
His word is final.
His desire is our action.
When he commands we obey.
And we’re OK with that.
Yes, it’s true that often when a family member here on earth dominates the family and becomes the final and decisive authority figure, there is abuse of that power. Other family members get hurt. And their lives are crimped in unhealthy ways.
However, that’s not so with Jesus as HEAD of God’s family.
For He, whom we happily serve, has first stooped low for us.
Go check in Bethlehem’s manger to see the evidence.
His lowly sacrifice and service for us paved the way for us to fully surrender every part of our Church Family’s life to him.
And we’d better get used to that.
And understand that clearly.
Christ’s family is about serving, not being served.
It is about giving, not getting or grabbing.
It is about obedience, not independence.
If we don’t understand that very fundamental posture –
– lived out to Jesus, and then also reflected in how we interact with others in the family –
then everything else in Family Life won’t make sense.
It’ll just seem like strange, pie-in-the-sky spiritual nonsense.
We Bow Down as a Church Family
together with the shepherds and the wise men.
before the Infant King of Bethlehem.
As as we bow, we take our wallets, our sexuality, our political views, our jobs and present them as gifts to him. He owns them. And tells us what to do with them.
Which, is, quite frankly, the hard part.
Most of us in Christ’s Family have a pretty good idea about what the Head Of The Family wants in these various areas. The problem is not there, in our understanding.
The challenge is in our obedience.
In the doing of what he says.
(as a reminder, though, if you wonder about some of what He may be asking, click on this link……)
So, when you drive round the city and see – somewhere – a nativity scene, or view one on a card that you get in the mail,
take special note of the shepherds who left their sheep, and the wise men who risked all to cross many miles in order to bow before the infant king.
wherever you are
Our Saviour and Brother.
And prepare to enter 2010 with renewed surrender and devotion to Him.