By Pastor Paula Burchill
With the end of a great week at VBS and a family night coming up tomorrow out at Lutherhaven, I am finding myself thinking about what it means to be a church family.
Some in church circles don’t like to use the word family when you talk about church, because they believe it signifies that there are those who are inside the family and those who are outside the family, when in reality we are all insiders in Christ. While I agree with this on principal, I can’t help but find myself loving the term “church family,” after watching my church family last week at VBS.
I loved seeing the older women and a granddaughter in the kitchen lovingly making healthy snacks for the kids. One boy couldn’t have food dyes, so they made sure he had a special treat of his own. It brought me back to being a kid and my grandma and great aunts being in the kitchen, talking and laughing and taking care of us. Like that granddaughter, I loved to hang out in there and listen to them.
I loved seeing the dad and the teen agers at games outside, human jungle gyms for the little kids. Sure, there were some kids that were a handful, but that is the way it is in a family and those teens learned to keep them safe and help them have fun. What a great and important lesson.
I loved the art teachers, bringing in a project, most of them with no family connection to any of the kids at VBS, patiently explaining the finer points of glitter application and helping to clean up messes at the end.
And the teachers….sitting at snacks with their kids, listening to their stories, making connections with their parents at pick up, putting on band aids, giving hugs. They showed the kids in words and deeds what God’s grace is like.
Just like in any family, a church family can be hard. There are always people you wouldn’t necessarily choose to hang out with, but you hang out with them anyway, because you love them and they are your family.
That is what I want my kids to grow up seeing and experiencing at their church. And as I get ready to head to the lake tomorrow, I hope that is what we can live out in all of our activities at SLC. We are the family of Christ—insiders all of us, hanging out together, supporting each other, taking care of each other, forgiving each other and loving each other. Because that is what families do!