Hebrews 2:11 – Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. (NIV)
One recent Sunday morning, our worship leader began the service with an apology. She said that in delivering the message the week before, she had confused two Bible stories, placing a character from one into the other. Someone from the congregation had — lovingly, I hope — pointed out the error while shaking hands immediately following the service.
A few things struck me about that. First, no apology was really necessary. It was good to hear the explanation, so that we were all clear on what the story really said, but I think that everyone in the congregation knows that small errors occur from time to time (quite frequently, in my case!). No harm was done, so I thought that no real apology was necessary.
But the second thing that struck me was the nature of Bible stories. Many of us have heard these stories from the time we were children, learning them in Sunday School, and hearing and reading them many times over in the years since. They're familiar. They're a little bit like the memorable stories that get told around the dinner table at family gatherings. The story about how Mom and Dad first met. How Uncle Harry did something silly on a fishing trip. How we used to play hide-and-seek when the cousins came over. How Aunt Martha told the spookiest ghost stories around the campfire. They're familiar tales that tell the story of our family — of our heritage.
That's another way of thinking about Bible stories. They're great teaching tools, often with profound learning opportunities, but they're also the stories of our family — our church family.
Next time you're in church, take a look around. This is your family — your family of faith — a family that is precious in God's sight, and whose stories are told in God's holy Word.
Prayer: Dear God, thank You for providing us with so much: with family, with Scripture, with faith. Most of all, thank You for providing us with our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, in whose name, we pray. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "I'm Not Ashamed To Own My Lord" (Lyrics)