It seems that most of us have had less than perfect fathers and as a result dysfunctional families that gave us our definition of what words like father, brother, sister, mother and family mean.
In 1970 after spending the first 25 years of my life in churches and with an alcoholic father in a dysfunctional family, I had still not seen a group of people that really loved one another… one that functioned in the love of God for its members. Then God heard my heart’s cry. He put me in touch with some young Jesus people and the gospel for them was all about the love of Jesus and they lived it. I soon could not live without being around them and I became a member of their family and ministry.
I didn’t know that that kind of love was possible and that Jesus had anything like that for me! After all, I never saw it working in the churches, neither Protestant or Catholic and in my mind that reflected directly on God whom they represented. You filed in on Sunday, got lectured by the “father figure” and then were shown the door. You were “loved” as long as you didn’t ask any hard questions or make any waves. It fit my “family” expectations.
All that said, I have been thinking a lot along this line, lately. If the saints of God can’t show what it means to be ONE in Christ and love one another as the family of God, whose fault is it that people cannot feel the love of God? Is it the fault of the broken and unloved in this world and the church? Are we not Christ’s body here on earth? Are we not His face and hands who live to manifest His heart for this sick world?
Just before He was crucified Jesus prayed,
“And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and THAT THE WORLD MAY KNOW THAT YOU HAVE SENT ME, AND HAVE LOVED THEM, AS YOU HAVE LOVED ME.” (Joh 17:22-23 KJ2000).
What will we say as members of His body if we neglect so great a salvation?
“Dear children, how brief are these moments before I must go away and leave you… So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (Joh 13:33-35 NLT)
If the body of Christ is functioning as it should people will know that they are loved by Him.