What comes to mind when you hear the word “family”?
The same word could trigger varying responses: a warm, comforting sense of love; a deep, aching hurt or confusion; a sharp, bitter anger or resentment; or a cold, empty apathy and ambivalence. These mixed emotions towards family are inescapable – each of us may have been hurt ourselves or is likely to know at least one person who has had negative experiences with their family, and some seemingly with no end in sight. Such experiences are real and rife, not only as a modern malaise, but indeed for many persons whose family lives were recorded in the Bible. It appears that such are inherent to our condition of living in this broken world.
Yet, the accounts of imperfect families in the Bible offer great hope for us – just as God used them despite their brokenness to accomplish His perfect purposes, He can use us in whatever family situation we find ourselves in. For He does call us – as individuals, as family units, and as a family in Christ – to come to Him just as we are, ‘warts and all’, and promises His grace that works in us to sanctify us for His glory.
Come hear from three esteemed speakers at the upcoming Aldersgate SG 2018 (see box), who will draw their sharing both from authentic experiences of family life (in contemporary times and as historically recorded in the Bible), and from their understanding of God’s call for families. Join in the conversation. Pose your questions during the panel discussion, or ‘post’ them on our colourful ‘Thought Wall’.
Come join our Methodist family in a visible sign of unity at the Aldersgate Sunday Celebration, as we re-commit ourselves to the Lord together through the Aldersgate SG Prayer of Commitment. Visit the booths of various Methodist agencies and learn how they can resource you and your churches’ ministries. Come “just as you are” to Aldersgate SG 2018, and answer God’s call!
By Grace Toh