Wednesday’s Word | 1.6.21

Wednesday's Word - January 6th

Friends, I want to talk a little bit about family today. If you know my story, you know I was orphaned at birth, either by a mother who did not want me or could not care for me. I have no idea which of those statements actually apply, but as an orphaned child, I carry with me that deep down knowledge that to some extent I was unwanted, a burden, an inconvenience. Two wonderful people chose to take me in and love me as their own. My adopted parents were the only parents I ever knew. They didn’t treat me different, they didn’t make me feel anything but loved.

As I reflect on the meaning of family, it occurs to me that love is the overarching theme that binds a real family together. Love accepts the faults and failures, warts and flaws of those it is bestowed upon. Love within a family sees each member as a integral to the whole.

Both of my parents have passed away some time ago, and yet I had Antoine who loved me more than I deserved, and I loved him the same. We formed a family unit between us. We could face whatever came our way, knowing that the love we had would keep us together, and make us stronger.

When I came to the United Methodist Church of Preston Hollow, Mark Knight told me I had a family who would stand beside me and support me. Those are nice words to hear, but you always think they are just words in the end. With the death of my beloved Antoine, I came to experience more love and support than I could ever imagine coming my way. The people of Preston Hollow have shown me what real family is.

Family can be used to describe familial relations among those who share genes and DNA. That’s one definition, but that’s not the definition I choose to use. My definition of family is: Persons who include in their circle of trust and support, others who are different, who are quirky, who are misfits, who are outsiders, all for the sake of expressing love. Some families are defined by their patriarchs and matriarchs. Some are defined by their race, culture, ethnicity. Some are simply defined as a group of people related to one another by virtue of their birth.

What Preston Hollow has shown me is they are willing to draw the circle wide to include others as a part of the family. There are no restrictions, there are no qualifiers, there are no hurdles one must overcome to make it into this family. This family exists to love one another in the same way as Christ loves us, without exception.

Bill Gaither wrote a song that helps us understand one another as family…

For I’m part of the family
The family of God
You will notice we say brother
And sister ’round here

It’s because we’re a family
And these folks are so near
When one has a heartache
We all share the tears
And rejoice in each victory
In this family so dear

I’m so glad I’m a part
Of the family of God
I’ve been washed in the fountain
Cleansed by His blood
Joint heirs with Jesus
As we travel this sod
For I’m part of the family
The family of God

From the door of an orphanage
To the house of the King
No longer an outcast
A new song I sing
From rags unto riches
From the weak to the strong
I’m not worthy to be here
But, praise God, I belong

I’m so glad I’m a part
Of the family of God
I’ve been washed in the fountain
Cleansed by His blood
Joint heirs with Jesus
As we travel this sod
For I’m part of the family
The family of God
Yes I’m part of the family
The family of God

You see, I am humbled to be a part of our family. Each of you, in your own way, show me daily what it means to be a part of a family filled with love.

Blessings and Peace,
Pastor Tom

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