Monday, October 13, 2008

Rachel - God's Design for Family

Genesis 29:12-14 He had told Rachel that he was a relative of her father and a son of Rebekah. So she ran and told her father. As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister's son, he hurried to meet him. He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his home, and there Jacob told him all these things. Then Laban said to him, "You are my own flesh and blood."

I was very sad when my brother left for college. I was three years younger than him, so I quickly wanted to be older so that I, too, could head off for college. He went to a school that was about 7 hours away from home, so weekend trips were not an option. However, Thanksgiving and Christmas always brought him home. While I'm sure it was most exciting for him to be able to come home to family, I got tremendous joy from running into mom and dad's room and telling them when Kenny pulled into the driveway. How excited they would be.

Rachel has just had a very fascinating experience herself. She meets a strange, yet intriguing, man while in the middle of her chores, he helps her to do her chores and then she finds out that he is family! Now she gets to take the exciting news to her father. Her father is just as ecstatic and he lets Jacob know how happy he is that Jacob has come. So far, so good.

When we become Christians, we belong to a new family. Not one of flesh and blood, but of spiritual likeness. Do we respond the way Rachel and Laban did when we meet someone new that's part of our family of God? Often times we may see someone new in the church, do we walk up and greet them as though they are long lost family, or do we step to the side and hope that someone else will take care of them. Do we quickly take them to our other church members and introduce them around so that they will feel comfortable - or do we assume they'll meet everyone eventually. God calls us to reach out and take care of family - that means our Christian family as well - it's not an easy job all the time, but certainly well worth the rewards.

P.S. For anyone interested in how college turned out for my brother: He's the chaplain of the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women - the only prison in the state for women. He has baptized 170 women in the past two years.

2 wonderful insights:

sailorcross said...

Family--spiritual family--I have to tell you this--my spiritual family is closer to me than my actual biological family.

I'm praying that they will soften their hearts towards me and realize that I am still the same me--only a better version--aiming high at the person God wants me to be.

I have been to churches were I am the "new" person and not been welcomed at all. Did I want to return there? More than likely, not.

Our church is very intentional about this--we welcome people, talk with them--every week find someone we don't know and spend a little time with them, introducing them to someone we do know.

I have to say that I have made a lot of new acquaintances and friends this way, so it is a blessing to everyone!

And WAY TO GO, KENNY!!! I was hoping you would let us know how his college career turned out--170 women coming to Christ in two years!! I can just imagine the party going on in Heaven every time one of them is baptized!!


Kay Martin said...

As an only child married to an only child I feel what I have lost when I read of love like yours and your brothers. Wonderfu sharing.

I do want to learn more about your brother's ministry since I am writing of inmates' spiritual transformation.

Great post.