A Family Affair

With families on the go, there is always a shortage of time. I suppose if none of us are home together in the same place at the same time, at least our pets have peace. How on earth do you do it? Well, I would say there in lies the point of this series. On our own peace isn’t possible, it is in fact a gift to us in Jesus Christ.

Like any gift however, given, it is in using it that is most important.

Jonathan Edwards was pastor in the 1700s. One thing he was attentive to was that his children were in church every Sunday. He has had 929 descendants-of these, 430 were ministers; 86 became university presidents; 75 authored good books; five were elected to the United States Congress and two to the Senate. One was Vice-President of this nation. I’m sure it was more than just being at church on Sunday that influenced the life of his children and descendents.

Without delving too far into the stories in our own home, I’m sure the Rev. Edwards had his fair share of not so “pastoral” moments with his children along the way. Raising kids is no easy task and for that matter being a child isn’t all a walk in the park either! Let’s be real right? When EVERYBODY at school is saying a new word its hard not to at home right? Its hard when EVERYONE around has what you don’t right? Friends aren’t always fun either are they? Its hard being a kid and sometimes home is the one place you can let out.

BUT – Paul says, you don’t take out your stuff in disobedience. Talk about with your parents. Work it out by running around and playing hard. But to the children at the church in Colossians and the church at Crossroads – Paul says: OBEY.

Paul doesn’t say JUST in going to church – everything! Doing home work. Brushing your teeth. Washing your hair. Time on the computer or video games. Driving the car. Complaining only leads to that foolish argument thing again which never brings about peace. The word should better be read even that children should make OBEYING a HABIT.

And it isn’t just for peace that he says to do it but it is the outcome. The more important thing Paul says, is that obedience to parents makes God happy. One time, when Jesus was 12, he separated himself from his parents while on vacation. When his parents found them, they weren’t thrilled, even though Jesus (who was God’s Son) had his reason. But rather than argue, the Bible says in the Gospel of Luke 2:51 “So Jesus went back with them to Nazareth, where he was obedient to them. His mother treasured all these things in her heart.” Jesus was obedient to his earthly parents – a word with the same root as OBEY in verse 20.

Now lets keep in mind, this is a family affair. This verse is tied directly to the next one. While it is directed at fathers, mothers should also take note. The culture of the time Paul wrote these words was one where wives and children were more property than people. Paul’s words to the church were freeing as they ought to be today. Paul makes the assumption, of course, that your parents or guardians are trying to follow Jesus’ example.

In the mid-seventies, an incredible baseball player retired named Harmon Killebrew whose now in the hall of fame. Killebrew shared about a day when his father was playing with Harmon and his brother in the yard. His mother came out and shouted, 'You're tearing up the grass.' "'We're not raising grass,' Dad replied, 'We're raising boys!”

While it is as important to correct our children don’t over do it. But why does obedience always have to do with chores and responsibilities? Why not have your children OBEY in doing something fun? Why can’t it be going out to eat as a family? Going to a movie together? A bike ride? A hike? A stay-cation around the ATL?

Of course, this all changes as we get older. Kids become parents and parents, grandparents. In one of those movie moments a few years ago, my dad and I were talking about life while we were on vacation up in the mountains. My dad said to me, “You think it ends at some point, being a parent. Truth is you never stop being a parent.” While I count my dad today as one of my best friends, it is important for us all to remember we’re always someone’s child.

And by God’s grace, we’ve all been adopted into God’s family if we have faith in Jesus Christ. In his letter to the Galatian church, Paul reminds us, that “… when the right time finally came, God sent his own Son. He came as the son of a human mother and lived under the Jewish Law, (5) to redeem those who were under the Law, so that we might become God's children. (6) To show that you are his children, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who cries out, "Father, my Father."( Gal 4:4-6 )

What we practice in our families, the habits that build peace, are ones inspired by God’s actions and Spirit in us. Can you mistake the desire to live in peace? Will you take the steps, follow the very same example Jesus did? It is a family affair after all – for all that we practice in our homes effects what happens in God’s house – right here in the church. It’s why Jesus’ disciples have for years called one another BROTHER or SISTER – It is about family – even on the go.

Click here for the link to the Podcast when it is available. Please keep in mind these notes are not the verbatim of my sermon but I hope you find them helpful.


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