As you are well aware, I’m totally fascinated by genealogy. It is a hobby I have been addicted to I was a child listening to my grandmother tell family stories at the dinner table. Last year I took the obsession to the next level when Misty bought me an ancestry DNA kit for my birthday. When I got my results back, the test confirmed some things I knew, caused me to question some things I had been told since childhood and brought some surprises. If you are interested in my findings, let me know and I’ll be happy to share them with you.
But what I took away from the DNA results and what I take away from each new discovery in my family tree is that I belong to a diverse and unique family. We are made up of hundreds of individuals, yet one thing unites us – we are family.
The church is much the same way. We are as different as any family tree could possibly be. We come from different backgrounds and are in different stages of not only our temporal life, but our spiritual life. But one thing unites this rag-tag assemblage – the fact that we are all brothers and sisters through the blood-bought atoning sacrifice of Christ.
When we come together as the Church, we know that we are among family. But what about those on the outside of the family? How do they recognize us? What is the thing that makes us “look” like family? What is the unmistakable family resemblance we bear? Well, I’m glad you asked. Jesus tells us the birthmark that will make us look distinctively like His children – “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:35)
Christians are marked – birthmarked if you will – by LOVE. Not by our hair styles, our clothing styles, our music styles – but by LOVE. We look like Jesus because we love like Jesus loves. We love each other, that’s easy (well, most of the time) but we also love the unlovely. We love differently – our love isn’t merit based (Jesus’ love isn’t). Our love isn’t fickle, it isn’t self-serving, it doesn’t pick and choose. We love each other – absolutely. We love the unlovable – amen!
So do you look like your family? Or do you look like you belong to some other family? Are you marked by love or by some other characteristic that comes from a different family (the world)? And does the world see a difference in how you love? They should.