That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:1-4

God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit have always been a “family” in relationship with each other. The idea of family wasn’t created, just like God wasn’t created. Family has always existed. Thomas Torrence in his Trinitarian Perspectives states it like this, “God draws near to us in such a way as to draw us near to himself within the circle of his knowing of himself.” God continually invites us into the inner circle of the Trinity. John the beloved disciple exuberantly proclaims the gift of this forever family fellowship.

There is something deep within us that longs for this “family”. God wants family, and we want it too, because we are made in his image. He creates opportunity for family, even if only within the fellowship of the church. We don’t have a choice whether we are born into a Christian family, a God-rejecting family or are orphaned by a family. We don’t have a choice where or when we were born, either. Yet family is a part of our story, part of our walk with Jesus in time.

John says his joy is made complete testifying about the fellowship in God’s family. Our human desire for family and God’s invitation into his family is a gift. For this we can be grateful. May your joy abound today by having a heart full of gratitude for the “family members” (biological or not) God has placed around you. If you have experienced broken family relationships, it might not be easy but ask the Holy Spirit to help you. Paul the apostle has a prayer you can pray for them, or write your own.

May God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you rich blessings and peace-filled hearts and minds. Dear brothers, giving thanks to God for you is not only the right thing to do, but it is our duty to God because of the really wonderful way your faith has grown and because of your growing love for each other. We are happy to tell other churches about your patience and complete faith in God, in spite of all the crushing troubles and hardships you are going through. 2 Thessalonians 1:2-4 (TLB)

By Donna Burns

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