The ultimate blended family
What am I going to do?
The feeling of being helpless is more familiar than any of us care to admit.
We’re in a situation, or given some information…and we just don’t know how to process it, let alone what our best next step will be. It’s in those moments that we want to look to someone with more experience, someone to show us how to deal with what life has brought our way.
Paul knew that the believers in Ephesus would be looking to Timothy with those kinds of questions. The city was a huge cultural and spiritual mish-mash, and Timothy’s mission was to provide guidance and support to those in the church family. Knowing the challenges Timothy would face, Paul sent him a letter. About halfway through, Paul explains his motivation for writing:
1 Timothy 3:14-15
I write these things to you, hoping to come to you soon. But if I should be delayed, I have written so that you will know how people ought to act in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.
Paul doesn’t know the future. He has a strong desire to minister side-by-side with his protégé again…but just in case he is delayed, Paul made sure Timothy knew how to support the people in the church.
I love the way Paul described those people, too…I have written so that you will know how people ought to act in God’s household. We’re all part of God’s household. Not God’s business. Not God’s club. Not God’s military, or any other socially-structured group. We’re all part of God’s family.
Being a family is hard. And we’re not necessarily good at being a family with those with whom we share blood ties and genetics…so how are we supposed to be a household when we weren’t even raised in similar contexts?
Those are the legitimate questions the Ephesian believers are going to be asking Timothy. If you were in his place, how would you answer them?
Stop and think of an answer before moving on…the church is the ultimate example of a ‘blended family’…so how do we make this household actually function as a family?
Paul actually gives us the answer. God’s household…is the church of the living God. We don’t define us as a family – belonging to the living Creator of the Universe is what ties us together as a family. God is our pillar and foundation of the truth.
This is no small thing. In fact, Paul goes on to say:
1 Timothy 3:16
And most certainly, the mystery of godliness is great:
The concept of being in God’s household is, in the Greek, a megas-mysterion. It is so large, that it has to be explained to us before we can really understand it. But why is it that way, why can’t it be easy to live as part of God’s household?
Interestingly enough, Paul then quotes a hymn reminding Timothy of the greatness of our Savior:
He was manifested in the flesh,
justified in the Spirit,
seen by angels,
preached among the Gentiles,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory.
Since Christ is so unique among all other proposed gods that the world looks to…it makes sense that being part of God’s household would mean that, at times, we’ll need help figuring out what to do next. But that’s why we have mentors, and why it’s so important for us to mentor others.
Being part of God’s household means that we are connected to each other in the deepest, most unique way possible…it’s not always easy to be family…but it is who He created us to be.