Day 4

Read Mark 3:1-35
Focal Passage Mark 3:31-35

What Makes a Church Family?

Ever since I can remember, my parents took us to church every Sunday. It was a time when we dressed up to go. “Wearing our Sunday best” is what my mother called it. I went to Sunday School and then sat in church with my parents. I am not sure how much I listened to what the pastor said because I busied myself with drawing and writing to keep my hands busy. We stood and sang the hymns, and though I could not read at a young age I struggled to sing along anyway. I loved going to church; we saw friends, played, learned to sing and sang in programs. I remember all of this, but the thing I remember the most is when we walked through the church doors, there was always someone there to greet us. They shook my father’s hand with vigor and happiness, telling us we were really a part of their church family. They touched my mother’s shoulder and said, “Hello. We are so glad you could join us this morning.”

When I grew up and moved to different areas, I would look for a new church to attend. I would look around at a few, choose one and go on Sunday. When I walked through that church door I was expecting a person to be there to greet me, to shake my hand or touch my shoulder to welcome me into their church family. That was how I chose which church to attend – if they welcomed me with a positive, warm greeting. That was what I knew growing up – that a church family is glad to see us on Sunday. Many did not think this was important, to greet everyone at the door, so I would not go back. Perhaps that told me that they had enough people in their church and they did not need me in their church family. I did all this because it was the way I knew.

In one of the cities where I lived the public schools were less than desirable and I had to seek another solution for my children for school. We joined a church in our neighborhood that had an excellent school as well. We lived there for six years and as an adult I learned what a church family really is. They cared for one another, they prayed for one another and they helped others who were in need. More importantly, we all worshipped the Lord together and were loved by Him together. I found that it is really what we DO in our hearts that makes us a church family, not how they greet us at the door.

I believe this is what Jesus was saying in this passage: that any who believe in God are His brothers and sisters and we are all family, not just our physical parents and family.

Prayer: Lord, please help us grow as a church family. Help us care and pray for one another. Help us give thanks for drawing us together to be there for each

Debbie Junk