Hey yo, come in! I’m stoked you dropped by. You gotta see this old photo album I found in the garage. Yeah, sit down here, next to me. Hmm…I gotta remind myself where these shots were taken. Oh, Dude, I remember now, this was from one of our Stelling Family Gatherings on Zoom during the COVID-19 crisis. You remember how topsy-turvey everything was. Who can forget?
Well, we got together on Wednesdays during that weird time to see each other’s faces, pray, and hear God’s encouragement (and a little correction too) through the mouths of our “tribe.” It’s bizarre how sometimes you’ll hear somebody share a Bible verse or thought and you go, “Yup, that’s for me — I just know it’s from God.” You feel kinda wrecked, but in a really good way. Like there’s something getting straightened out inside you that was bent a little, and you didn’t even know it. Does that sound kinda weird to you? That’s why I want you to try Alpha with me! Anyway, as part these Stelling Family Gatherings, we gave up some meals on Wednesdays for those weeks to “feel” prayer and amp up our “we-need-God” levels. I know that giving up food probably sounds crazy to you. Christians do it sometimes.
Well, God brought us through to the other side. And not gonna lie, our family is closer than ever, and more dedicated to our “Good, Good Father” (that’s a song we sing sometimes). We’re also doing more for the poor. You want me to flip the page? OK, sure.
Oh, this reminds me of how one sister said that she thought that the Lord was using the pandemic to purify us. Another sister challenged our family to tremble at God’s Word. That means to really respect him, and not just be casual and blase in our faith. And my brother reminded us that through it all, God is the one we can take shelter in. Yeah, that reminds me of that whole shelter-in-place thing. Anyway, I think he talked about Psalm 46, but I can’t remember. My stomach was growling pretty good by that time! Sorry, I’m rattling on. You know I have the gift of gab! But you can’t blame me, seeing my siblings make me talkative. We have lots of history together, true that!
Here’s another page of my moms, dads, aunts, uncles, nephews and nieces, sons and daughters. Man, seeing them reminds me how rich I am. If you have family, boom, you’re set. Check out this next page.
Yes, of course, my clan is tight. Do we fight sometimes? Duh, for sure. We have our scrapes and sibling rivalries — like all families. But we are FOR each other, no matter what. And that ain’t gonna change. (Did I really just use the word “aint.” Hot lasers would shoot from Mrs. Chambliss eyes if I used slang like that in English class. Glad she’s not hear.) Here’s another shot of my “peeps.”
What? You don’t think we look like we belong together? No family resemblance? Sure we do — but you gotta look beneath the surface. See, we’re all adopted, and from all over — China, India, Mexico, France, South Africa, Singapore, Estonia (I’d struggle to find that country on the map — I was no better at Geography than English), and many other far-away places. Even Milpitas! That’s where I grew up. No, it’s not skin color that connects us, it’s the Spirit’s covering, the Holy Spirit, that is. What’s that’s verse again? Man, I wish I listened better to my friend Stew. That guy knows the Bible. Oh yeah, here it is:
“For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body–Jews or Greeks, slaves or free– and all were made to drink of one Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:13).
There’s a lot there, but I think it basically means that even if we’re all from different countries and cultures, we’re truly one family if we believe in Jesus. That’s 100% true for the Stelling Fam. What? You have to go? But I only showed you three pages. Can’t you stay? I got some Cheetos. You really gotta fly? OK then, another time…
See you tomorrow at Valley Church online! We’re starting our Family Matters series.