January 22, 2019
By Steve King
In Christ, we are all family. When we let the gospel shape our relationships, God’s irresistible beauty is reflected through us.
Early last Wednesday morning, Astrit, who joyfully works on our staff to keep our facilities clean and orderly, gave me his usual warm greeting. Then pastors began to arrive for our weekly “band of brothers” gathering in the Well.
The first one to arrive was Pastor Wayne, an evangelical Lutheran, and I introduced him to Astrit. To my surprise Astrit immediately said to him, “I just left my home and family to come to work at Cherrydale. This is my other family. Here I have brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, dads, moms and many more—I love it here!” Pastor Wayne and I got a glimpse of God’s beauty reflected in our church family.
Last Sunday morning, I had the joy of being introduced to six individuals, each of whom had been invited by one of our members to join us in worship. A common theme from those who had been invited was the enthusiasm to “come meet my church family!” When the gospel shapes our relationships, God’s irresistible beauty is compelling.
After our Sunday Members Gathering, one of our newer members, who is a single mom, pulled me aside to talk. She shared that she grew up in a context where disagreements and hard issues were never dealt with in a healthy way. She then joyfully said, “I stayed for the whole Members Gathering this time and what I saw, I did not think existed on earth! New members were welcomed by having their stories told and joyfully received into the church family. Difficult issues were discussed with openness and grace. Church discipline was done with love, brokenness, and hope. This is a healthy church family!” My sister in Christ found the beauty of Christ, reflected in our church family, overpoweringly attractive.
As we together continue our series through the Sermon on the Mount and march toward Easter, let’s remember our high calling: “Let your (plural for church family) light shine before men in such a way that they might see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
When we let the gospel shape our relationships, God’s irresistible beauty is reflected through us!