Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.”
Dude. Often, when we talk of the Gospel, we talk of “eternal life in the age to come”. Which is great. And no longer being under God’s wrath is great (Ephesians 2:3-5).
But you know what is also great? “houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands”!!
You know how? We’ve been adopted into God’s family (Galatians 4:3-7, Ephesians 1:3-6, ). Through Christ, who recociles all things to Himself, we can have fellowship with one another. That is to say, moreover, we are siblings together, children of our Heavenly Father.
Now, a while back, there was this so-called “emergent church movement,” and they were a little anti-establishment. Now, I’m sure everyone’s familiar with harping on the church, because gosh-darn-it! Those Christian people sin too. You know, basically the camp of “I like Jesus, but I’m not so keen on “church”. So these emergent church people were like let’s be cool and get rid of the “institutional” [Read: corporate] part of church, and just do the fun stuff like drinking coffee and talking about Jesus. And I thought they had some good points, being young and discontent.
When I graduated college, our college ministry guy gave us a book by Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck, called “Why We Love the Church.” (incedentally DeYoung and Kluck also wrote a book called “Why We’re not Emergent“. I’ll save my praise of church traditions for later.) I’m not going to give a book reivew here, except to say that it was interested, and I’d recommend it. Rather, let me explain [one reason] why I love the church.
“…houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands…”
For instance, in January, my brother married, and I gained a sister.
I have a sister! I never had one before. But I have one, and she’s great!
Moreover, I have brothers and sisters, not by blood, but by the Precious Blood. And we get to enjoy this “now in this time”! And I’ve been reveling in this. =)
How great the love the Father has lavished on us!!