All in the family

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Galatians 6: Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up. 10 So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.

Reaping and sowing are agricultural terms. To sow is to plant something, care for it, that it might grow. To reap is to harvest something – to gather its fruit. Paul encourages his people to invest themselves in things of God – of the spirit. Eternal things. Rather than invest in things of the flesh which are temporary and potentially corrupt. The fact that you’re reading this blog post means you are sowing to the spirit. Then there’s this:

10 So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.

Yes, we are called to share the good news of Jesus with the rest of the world, but we are also called to care for one another as fellow Christians – a family in Jesus Christ. Sometimes than means supporting people within your own church fellowship, but other times it means supporting people who live far away.

This past week I had the pleasure of joining a team of 22 people from several different churches to go to Juarez, Mexico – across the border from El Paso, Texas. There we worked to support several different ministry sites – a school, an orphanage, a church, and so on. These ministries are all seeking to minister to some of the poorest people in the region. It’s also a region that, for several years, was ground zero for a war between rival drug gangs. Thousands of people were killed, including a pair of staff members from one of the churches we visited.

Yet, not only did we serve our sisters and brothers in Juarez, we were served by them, blessed by them, learned much from them. Despite the obvious adversities, there is a joy and grace they modeled for us. It might be what the apostle Paul referred to as “peace that passes understanding”. As one of our high school kids remarked at the end of a work day, “The children have nothing, live in poverty, yet they are happy and joyful and laughing.”

Precisely.

Lord Jesus, bless our Christian sisters and brothers in Juarez and many other places of great adversity and material poverty. And give us grace to embrace eternal life in the midst of our spiritual poverty. Amen.

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