Sunday, September 7, 2014

Who is my family?

Barracks Sunday School Class - Brookhaven Wesleyan Church

We look like many but we are one.  Jesus Christ has bound us together in Him and adopted us as brothers and sisters into the family of God.  Like an army, we are one.  Like arms and legs of one body.  Like a thousand birds of the sky fluttering furiously about in their synchronized dance.  We are many.  We are one.

Jade and I have been constantly reminded of the unity of the Body of Christ over the last month.  Missionary work can quickly become an isolating venture.  Different churches.  Different states.  Different cultures.  A year of this kind of service causes any Christian to plead with God for some sense of consistent community.  Our family has been blessed to receive a few weeks of consistent community leading up to our departure.

Last night our Sunday school class threw us a party.  Hotdogs and hamburgers.  Kids laughing and wrestling around.  Ping-pong, prayer and potato chips.  It was awesome.  Before we ate they presented us with a gift.  Over the last year they have been sneakily putting together $5 here and $1 there.  We had no clue.  They handed us an envelope with over $500 and spoke words of confirmation that they were behind us, with us, sending us and praying for our family and the ministry God had in store.

The next morning after our Sunday School hour was over we had our picture taken.  My chest was shaking with emotion.  We went upstairs for the regular service.  I wept at the sound of my family, with whom I am bonded in Christ, singing "We believe in the Crucifixion!  We believe in the resurrection!"  I prayed, "Be praised, Lord.  Hear my family sing to you."

After two 8 hour flights our family will soon be in Uganda.  It doesn't seem like much when I put it that way I guess.  Two 8 hour flights.  That's it.  I like talking about it that way.  Close.  "We're just right over there," I say with a quick throw of my pointer finger toward the Eastern horizon.  Ha.  Oh man, it's really, really far away.  We all know that.  But I have brothers in Uganda, too.  I haven't met most of them yet but they are there.  My family in Uganda is hurting, helping, growing, laughing and making memories.  Jesus Christ has bound them together in Him and we're a part of the same family.  This is true of our Ugandan Christian family: We love them before we've met them.


Consider this challenging passage from Matthew as something to stir internal thought regarding missions:

While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”
He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”


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