Better Together

One Family?

Some bad news. I lost some precious awake time watching BBC parliament.

I suffer from memory loss following brain injury. Some of our MPs may have the same problem. What many call “debate” would have been labelled “argument” by their early-years teachers. Perhaps words are taught with alternative meaning in the private sector. A curriculum tailored to their expected status? Many MPs do struggle with word labels and this week one of them spotted this, noting that “Test and Trace” should have been named “Trace the Test.”

My thanks go to all those striving relentlessly to meet our needs and other peoples targets with so few resources and so many mountains to climb. MPs struggle with other words too such as, “honourable” and “friend.” To be fair, they must really concentrate on remembering the pre-approved words they have already said so that they are ready to repeat them eloquently in response to any question asked, irrespective of the question.

To me it matters not where this viral “enemy” started, single celled or otherwise. Call it wisdom or evolutionary refinement, but the virus won’t follow the rules of the cognitive elite, even if they’re presented as being a simple “6 or less” law. But it’s not even that simple, given all the exceptions for the privileged. You can just hear the cells saying to one another, “don’t drift into that close contact team sport stadium. We can’t attempt to survive in there, it’s not against their laws.”

Global pandemic. Absolutely. We travel and share viruses widely, whilst valuable resources graduate toward those at the top of the ladder. In Dave Clark’s entertaining and engaging musical “Time” the actions of mankind are judged by the high court of the universe. I saw it in London in the 80s and the double album LP tells a gripping story still relevant today. Truly famous folk were including; Laurence Olivier, Freddie Mercury, Dione Warwick and Cliff Richard to name but a few.

Still enjoying some vinyl
Akash projection

Should the Earth live or die? Don’t worry we have Rock Star singers called to our defence. It could be worse. Akash, representing the ultimate word in truth, could have asked for politicians to represent the breadth of humanity.

Melchisedic the prosecuting Timelord notes, “you’ve got suicide, war, starvation and pollution, homicide, greed, and lack of evolution. You’ve got every sin you could ever imagine. Pain, strife, disease, you got all of these.” He also notes that, “2000 years ago a guiding light did go, to Nazareth he came… And what did you do? You crucified him!”

A singer proclaims, “The famine in Africa is so many miles away. There isn’t nothing we can do. We’ve got enough troubles here of our own to struggle through” Speaking as a lowly state educated chap with brain injury, the reality is that “isn’t nothing” actually means, there is something we should do.

In this shared crisis some at the top of the ladder may still attempt to use their salary and status to gain the few necessary privileges of being a key worker, irrespective of the guidelines or the needs of the lowly genuine. Simultaneously, other people selflessly give up time and money to support the NHS and individuals in need, irrespective of their place on the ladder. Our Rock Star moves on to highlight, “There ain’t no here or over there. We are part of one human family, part of the same tapestry, don’t let them tell you differently…”

Is this true? Are we all in the same family? Does humankind share one Father or just one creator?

In one way it might be yet another form of segregation, but my understanding is that many are indeed separated from the family of God and do not know the creator as their Father. Not yet anyway. “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.” (Ephesians 4:18)

Good news, a choice is there for all from our all-inclusive God. Family adoption is possible once there is an opening through the wall of selfish sin. There is a door to the family home, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7) There are numerous ways to ask, we just need to try them. There are doorbells too. “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.” (Ephesians 1: 4-5)

Jesus is essential in so many ways. “No-one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.” (1 John 2:23) Jesus is the opening in the selfish barrier between us and the father. “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2:5)

Father to the rescue at Center Parcs

Adopted into the family? “…those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:14-15) Yey, so God can be our accessible father “This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven…” (Matthew 6:9) Jesus is God’s son, so does that make Jesus our brother?  “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:29)

Ok, so we have a Father and brothers and sisters. It’s sounding like a real and highly valuable family to me. I’ll stop MONKeying around and confess that I’d grasped NUN of the biblical connections to the language of brother and sister in Christ.

Part of the family of God. So what? Well, we can access God with Jesus our brother and Great High Priest. (Hebrews 4:14) Jesus knows what it’s like to be tempted down here. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are– yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)

The family we have been physically born into, is different to the family of God. “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.”  (Matthew 19:29) How on Earth (quite literally) can we be in two different families and put aside our self-gratifying Earthly desires knowing we have access to a home with God.

Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, Who then can be saved? Jesus looked at them and said, With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19: 24-26)

Forget Geography, status and wealth. We are called to love one another, and we can do this most effectively with Gods help together with all our brothers and sisters in the family of God. Is this family thing getting too divisive and complex to live with and follow? My separation from work has really made me think again about my place, priorities, and sense of belonging. God does simple commandments better than our politicians and teachers. “Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

The Covid situation is testing on so very many levels and as ever people are reacting very differently, for self and for others. “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:31-33)

Reflections Menu