The Family We Choose

5.28Tuesday, May 28

By Barbara Howard of Independence, Missouri, USA

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

—Colossians 3:12–17

My granddaughter, Grace, recently finished three years of preparation for confirmation in the Episcopal Church. On the way to the sacramental service, she asked her mother, “Why church? I mean, why is it important to join; to belong? I belong to my family. I am a member of a soccer club, an ice hockey team, and stuff at school. Why church?” Her mother wisely responded, “Why do you think church is important?”

Grace, quiet for time, responded with conviction. “I think church is the family I choose. The family that members choose to be their family. It’s a lot like our family. I know the people at church will be there for me for the rest of my life. I know I belong, and they care about me, no matter what. Yep, church is the family I choose.”

Perhaps one way we can offer ministry is to cultivate those preparing for baptism, enrich their understanding of scripture, offer support for service projects, deepen their testimony of a living, loving God. Develop Disciples to Serve. Provide opportunities for them to sense they are choosing a family of unconditional love.

Prayer for Peace
Loving God, we choose to be in your presence. Thank you for being there, always. We choose to be with your community. May we always invite others to join us as we share Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice: Develop Disciples to Serve
Read and reflect on Psalm 42:1–2. As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to respond to people and their needs. The call to inward journey can restore us in times of physical or spiritual depletion. Imagine you can feel a vessel at the center of your being (a clay jar, a crystal vase, a metal bucket, or other container). Imagine drawing something from the vessel to share with another person, but as you reach inside you find only a tiny pool of stagnant liquid. You are thirsty and dry; empty. Listen prayerfully again to the psalm. As you feel restored, thank God for the opportunity to be a responding, serving disciple while you move into the outward journey. Remember this exercise as you drink water throughout the day.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will try to be the person others choose to be with.

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2 Comments

  1. M. Hill

     /  28 May 2013

    I also like to think that church is a family that we choose, . However I guess like biological families, we don’t always feel accepted and loved, by our church family

  2. Bonnie Britton

     /  28 May 2013

    Date: Tue, 28 May 2013 06:04:22 +0000 To: bonnie-britton@live.com

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