Back in my study days at Northwest University, Dr. Gordon Fee came through as the Staley Distinguished Scholar. His one week of teaching is permanently stored in my memory.
In the chapel service each day, he taught us how to compare the “vanity, vanity, all is vanity” of Ecclesiastes with the permanence of “The man who does the will of God is forever,” in 1 John.
Dr. Fee gave his attention, in the evening sessions, to the fact that Christians and the Church are the “newly reconstituted people of the Spirit.” We studied some of the intricacies of God’s selection of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as the “people of God.” Yet the primary emphasis was upon how in Jesus’ life, death, burial, resurrection, and sending of the Holy Spirit, God reconstituted “the people of Spirit.”
This holy-day season, I am uber thankful for family. In this newly reconstituted people of the Spirit, one’s family is even more grand than the biological family. Yes, my father lives in Arkansas. Yet I have fathers in our newly reconstituted family too and everyone in this particular family find father in Father God.
As a daughter or son of God you are truly, really, and genuinely related to the rest of our “newly reconstituted family of God.” These sisters and brothers are actual relatives. “The Church family” isn’t just a slogan on the wall or an idea on the pages of an antique text or a philosophy in seminary lecture. The Christian family is related at the deepest level.
Ninety minutes from now our part of the Christian family will gather for a church family meal. Our ethnicities will be diverse. Our skin color will various shades of the palette. Our primary languages will be varied. HOWEVER, we are genuinely and deeply family.
God’s newly reconstituted family is our most powerful evangelism message. Nothing on earth is as powerful as aligning with Father God as a daughter or son who brings joy to His heart.
When we lock ourselves in our homes with our biological family, to the exclusion of the larger family, we silence our greatest Gospel voice. I have noticed that “the happy American family” is rarely effective in evangelism in their homes. It is not the fact that the family is happy and American, it is that our families often become ingrown, isolated, and cut off from the joy of welcoming the God-orphan into our newly reconstituted family of the Spirit.
The stranger in your home gets a taste of the day when, should they come into alignment with Father God, they are welcomed to God’s eternal home and into His fantastic family.
There is plenty of time. Come on over so that neither you nor I eat alone.