Family Tree

Ephesians 3:14-20

14 “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named. 16 That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man. 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length, depth and height, 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen” NKJV

My bible footnotes say, “The family of God includes all who have believed in him in the past, all who believe in the present, and all who will believe in the future. We are all a family because we have the same Father. God promises his love and power to his family, the church.”

Our human story can be both a blessing and a struggle. It is truly a blessing to be able to look back at those who have helped to form us spiritually. I’m so blessed to have had parents who made sure God’s word and the stories in the bible, were shared with my siblings and I as we were growing up. I also count as a blessing my exposure to different denominations and religions within my family. I had Catholicism on my father’s side and a strong Lutheran tradition on my mother’s side. We have family members who celebrate Judaism and Jewish traditions through marriage. We welcome their stories, and the celebrations they share with us.

It is not as easy and pleasant however, to include those difficult ancestors, or difficult family members or friends that cross our path. The self-righteous, the alcoholics, those who mentally struggle. My family tree has a few. God has given me both, reminding me to welcome both. To press through the hard stuff, to get to the good stuff.

In verse 17, Paul prays that Christ will dwell in the Ephesians heart through faith, that they would be rooted and grounded in love. We are called to start at our roots. We can see God’s love and promises in the struggles in life. God expects us to make something of the life he has given us and he gives us all the tools we need, an open invitation for a relationship with Him and the gift of His Holy Spirit. “All things work together for good for those who love God” (Romans 8 V: 28)

Our Abba God,

We thank you, for the rich inheritance of saints that go before us. We thank you for the saints you have given us to walk with, here on earth. For the stories that shape us into the people we are today. Father, open our hearts to those we perceive as different from us and grant us working relationships, touched by your wisdom. Your kingdom come. We thank you for your Holy Spirit that is continually at work in our lives, bringing us together as the family of God. Amen

Lois

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