Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Savior's Dysfunctional Family

There are no perfect families.  Let’s just put that out there from the beginning.  Sometimes in Christians circles, we make it seem as if a family of Christians should be blissfully loving and problem-free.  I don’t know what happens in your family on a typical Sunday morning.  Maybe there is usually a big fight in the car ride on the way there.  You all have to calm down and get pleasant looks on your faces before you came into the building.  Maybe some member of your family refuses to come to church, even though they know you want them there, even though you pray every Sunday will be different.  Maybe you’ve broken contact with some member of your family, and part of you is angry and thinks, “This isn’t all my fault.  They need to apologize.”  But part of you is deeply sad, and almost willing to do whatever it takes to bring them back.  Maybe some member of your family is suffering with a mental illness or an addiction that makes them a very different person than they used to be, and makes your home and your life chaotic.  I’m not giving away any secrets here; in any large group of people, there are stories like that, and more.  Maybe something else is going on in your family right now that keeps you awake at night, brings you to tears, or makes you furious.  And Sunday mornings, you sit in a room full of attractive, well-dressed people, including some couples who seem very happy together, and some families with children who look well-adjusted and beautiful.  And you’re tempted to think, “Everyone has it together but me.  What’s wrong with me?”
The same thing is wrong with you that’s wrong with me.  We’re sinners.  And that means every family is a collection of sinners.  Don’t get me wrong; God created the family, and it’s amazing.  I came from a wonderful family, and God has given me a family of my own that is a huge blessing to me.  Marriage is an amazing journey.  Raising children is the most important, most rewarding job I’ve ever had.  But we’re all sinners, and that leads to problems.  Worse still, in our families, we’re all sinners with our masks off; most of us at least pretend to be good when we’re out in the world.  But at home, we’re fully ourselves.  That leads to conflict and sometimes even heartache.  When I say there are no perfect families, that’s even true in Scripture.  Do a quick survey of all the families in the Bible; everyone has problems.  There’s polygamy, adultery, jealousy, deception, favoritism, infertility, murder, rape, children rejecting the teachings of their parents…and that’s just in Genesis.  You might say, “Well, okay. But how about the family of Jesus?  Surely that was a perfect family, right?”  Sunday morning, we'll talk about that.  We'll look at what we know of Jesus' family. You might be surprised to learn just how imperfect our Savior's family was.  Why?  What does that tell us about Him, and about how He sees us?

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