I recently read a quote by Charles Moore in the Plough Quarterly about the parallels between the family and the church. It gives some incredible insights into how Jesus’s teaching about relationships can change the family and ultimately change the world.
In Jesus’ new family, things are turned upside down: the first are last, and the least are the greatest. Things aren’t “natural.” People are more valued than possessions and love for our biological kindred gives way to serving everyone around us, even those most unlike us. Like children who pay little attention to race or social status, we enter a radically new way of relating to one another. Paradoxically, within this new and greater family, the natural family of parents and children is honored and can even be strengthened. When the first Christians spread the good news across the Mediterranean world, their witness contrasted sharply with the promiscuity and decadence of Roman society. Widows and orphans were cared for, and no one was in need, for entire congregations shared everything they had. Husbands learned self-discipline and self-sacrifice, and women were honored as co-equal heirs of salvation. The result was that the natural family was restored to what God originally intended.
While these few sentences summarize so much of what I already know and believe, they also have my mind racing as a pastor about how we can change the world. However, if really we want to change the world—specifically our American culture—we must begin by asking some important questions…
How do we help people understand that people are more important than possessions?
How can we possibly get people to look beyond color and social status?
How do we stop the race baiting?
How do we keep people from taking the bait?
How can we care for widows and orphans? (I believe many single moms and some military families fall into this category in our culture.)
How can we see men actually become men and take responsibility for all of their actions and do more than simply make money to pay the bills or build a life?
If we want to change the world and see families restored in America, it will not happen through heated political debates or nasty social media rants. It will come as a result of the church being the church—doing things that are so radical that even the haters cannot deny the love they are being shown. If we want to change the world, it starts with me…and with you!!
Be honest, how much of your life is about you? How much of it is about others? I have to admit, I am still about 50/50. I need to do better..and do better now.
What is your ratio?