Hangin-out with dad

My Dad came into town from New Mexico this past weekend to visit. I hadn't seen him for quite some time—probably three or four years. It was awesome to get to spend some time with him this weekend. I had some interesting revelations as I sat and talked with him, the most pronounced was my revelation of how much like him I am. Though for most of my life he hasn't been around, we share a lot in common.

I think we usually only think of our influences as people who we come into contact with and people who raise us, teach us, live with us, etc. but I realized this weekend that we are shaped also by people we don't see too often. We are shaped by the people with whom we share blood. Maybe this is why family is so important to God, and why so many ecclesiological practices refer to family (for example: the Eucharist is thought of, in many circles, as a “family meal”).

When it comes to family, it’s not just about the people you live with or see on a regular basis, it’s also about people who are long gone or who live across the globe from you. You share something in common—something that helps make you who you are. You are who you are because of the people who came before you and because of people you never see as well as all the people around you.

The Church is a family in the same sense. The Church isn’t just people around you; it’s not just people who are alive. The Church is everyone who is or has been a part of this movement of God’s Kingdom and, if you are part of it, you are who you are because of them.