19th May 2012

The Only Sensible Response – Kinship

“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love,”
Romans 12:10 (NKJV)

This morning I received a telephone call from my brother.  It was kindly and affectionate, and full of brotherly love.  It reminded me of an incident in our childhood where he had been blamed for some misdeed that I had done and had been punished with a smack which made him cry.  I remember how his crying made me cry also.  You could say that is understandable, how that was a kith and kin relationship, especially since he is only 16 months younger than me.

Paul sees this kinship in the members of the church.  In response to God for what he has done for us Paul sees us all standing before our Father as his children, and behaving with that same kith and kin love that we can share in our earthly families.

Not all have had the privilege and pleasure of growing up in a family of siblings, giving and receiving in relationship; some because there were no siblings, and some because the experience, sadly, was not what it should have been.  But we can all imagine what it could be like.  We can all know what we would like to give to and receive from one another in an ideal situation.  And this is the picture that Paul paints for us.

Paul constantly sees the church as a single body with all the different members each playing their part to make the body all it can be.  To bind the body together in love so that it may continue to grow into the image of Jesus Christ in full maturity.  Anything that does not serve this purpose does not fit in with this picture, and is therefore destructive.

He sees a wonderful family of warmth and compassion; of kindness and affection; of encouragement and facilitation; of genuine concern for the other members of the family expressed in all our actions.  Is this what we see?  And is this what we are working toward?

Father in heaven, I thank you for the wonderful family that you are creating in us.  Through your Spirit please guide me in being a support and a positive influence through my actions and words.

Study by David Stirk

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