"Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor." (1 Peter 2:17)
Family.... who do you think of as "in" your family? Our children, definitely, and grandchildren (of course!) and IF our parents are still alive we might claim them -- although I know some who wouldn't. I don't know about you but I have a few "sisters of the heart" that I'm sure Dad just forgot to adopt. There were also children through our home through all the years - most (if not all) we have no idea where they are now. My parents were foster parents for over 50 years and had over 250 children in their care during that time. So I grew up knowing "family" was more than my parents and biological sister.
The Scripture reading this morning, from Peter, and the Gospel reading last week both speak of the "family of believers." (v. 17) Jesus points out, in Mark 3:35 "Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother." We talked about it, last week, for if we really believe but I want to ask another question this morning. I'm wondering if we s-t-o-p to take time to be with them. I'm wondering if we stop to l-i-s-t-e-n to them. They may, or may not, be where we are in walking with God because they may (or may not) have the same way of being with God.
The question is.... can we still love them? Can we still "respect" them? My friend, John Wesley, is quoted as saying "We may not all think alike but can we not all love alike?" Now that is an interesting thought isn't it? Can we at least respect, if not love, alike?
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