Family of God
May 13, 2018 | Lisa Degrenia
Passage: Ephesians 2:11-19
God’s Vision- Why we do what we do
God is love. We are called to share that love and the hope we’ve found in Jesus Christ with all people.
God’s Mission- What we do
Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World
Our Values- How We Accomplish God’s Work
We are Christ-Centered
- We place our trust in Jesus Christ as our Savior and Leader
We value hospitality
- Far more than friendly or welcoming. Belonging, acceptance, openness
We value genuineness
- Honest with God, each other, and our community Transparent, real, down to earth
We value respect
- All persons are made in the image of God. The dignity of all and for all
What do you think the missing value is? We choose to be family to one another
- We are better together
- Commitment to deep community, mutual support, caring, collaboration, Servant-hearted living, faith in action
- For many of us, our church family is more of a family to us than our biological family
Family at its worst
- neglectful, distant, false naming, betrayal, dangerous/abusive
Family at its best
- safety, belonging, nurture/growth, identity/truthful naming
Read Ephesians 2:1-19
Without Christ, we are outsiders, outcasts, orphaned, strangers, aliens
Without God, there is no safety, no belonging, no nurturing or identity rooted in the eternal
What Christ does by his death and resurrection. Notice all the birth images:
- Verse 13, Jesus brings us near by his blood. His blood makes us blood.
- Verse 14, in his flesh he has made both groups into one
- Verse 16, Jesus creates a new humanity
Notice all the death images
- Verse 14, the broken body of Christ breaks down the dividing wall
- Verse 16, hostility is put to death
An extended quote from Prodigal Brothers by Steve Garnaas-Holmes (Luke 15:11-32)
The failure of our love—distancing ourselves from God and one another— is at the heart of our sin. In our self-centeredness, we break our family bond with God and with others, as if we’re not related. It is not just of our disobedience that we repent but of our distance, our refusing to get close to God and to others, including those whom we judge…. The righteousness that we need is not obedience. It’s a loving relationship—and this is not our own doing; it is the gift of God. In repentance, we pray toward both God and neighbor, “I am not on my own. I am yours.”
The story of St. Francis of Assisi being disowned by his father. Francis finds family and belonging with Jesus and his followers.
Prayer: Make us your children
Heavenly One, Your reach extends to every person, every nation, offering grace, forgiveness, wholeness, and hope. A saving embrace drawing us to you and each other.
Make us your children: grateful for a place in your family, humble before your love and generosity, faithful in honoring and welcoming all, joyful in sharing what we have found in you- safety, belonging, identity, a home of nurture and growth and sending forth. Amen.
Jesus calls us and gathers us in beautiful and unique ways. Come along as we explore Biblical images of what it means to be God’s people.