The rush is on… school starts in about a week! All those last-minute to-do’s need to get done. Right? But there is one I hope you all have on your list—prayer. I challenge and invite you to pray over our teachers, educators, our students, our administrators, bus drivers, and all school staff for the next 7 days. If you want to go the extra mile this year, make it a 7-day prayer walk. Pick a school or schools, and walk around the school once and pray for all those who will be working and attending school this year. Do this once a day for 7 days. Just for fun, and to make it interactive, post pictures of your activities and the school you prayed for, tagging Faith in your post. And then join us on Sunday, August 23, 2015, as we "bless the backpacks" and pray for all those going back to school.
Being a family can be difficult. The expectations we face are greater than ever. For families with children, the culture challenges the kids to be involved in dozens of important activities designed to nurture and enhance their lives. This creates less family time together and more stress and strain on both the schedule and the bank account. Financial challenges and increased cultural expectations about standards of living mean that more and more families are two-wage-earner families. At the same time, more and more families are led by single parents who are challenged to get everything done at work and at home, sometimes on a single income. Social media puts all the possibilities and dangers of connecting to the whole world right in our living rooms and bedrooms. Life expectancy has increased, so families are more likely to have both the opportunities and challenges of multiple generations to care for and enjoy.
At the same time, families don’t look like they used to with 2.5 kids and the white picket fence and the minivan in the driveway. The diversity of our world means that people often marry outside the cultural groups into which they were born. Blended families, single parent families, unmarried parents, singles, the widowed, multiple generations under one roof, foster families, and "framilies" are all so common now that we can no longer view the family as a monolithic sociological concept. No, we are not in Kansas anymore.
Family is messy and it is not easy—all the more reason for Christians to look to scripture for help. It can help us better understand God’s desire for family and the principles and practices that can hold our families together. It isn’t biology that binds families together, it is a covenant of love. No matter what your family or "framily" looks like, we all need God’s love and grace in building up our lives together.
On Sunday, August 23, 2015, we will begin a new sermon series: Beyond White Picket Fences. We will redefine family and find hope, support, and practical ideas on how to be the family of God.