No Perfect Families

“We get along not because we are good but because we are forgiven.” ~ Eugene H. Peterson


Today is Saturday, April 29, 2017.

Quote of the Day

“With a stop light, green means ‘go’ and yellow means ‘slow down’. With a banana, however, it is quite the opposite. Yellow means ‘go’, green means ‘whoa, slow down’, and red means ‘where the heck did you get that banana?'” ~ Mitch Hedberg

Word of the Day

Que voulez-vous ~ “Expressing mild exasperation or resignation: ‘what do you expect?’, ‘what can one expect?’.”

Today is Sense of Smell Day. Many of us take this sense for granted, but it is more important than we might realize. For one thing, if you can’t smell, you can’t taste. At least not very well. Celebrate your sense of smell today by trying to notice things that you smell throughout the day.

As of 9:30, this morning, it still is not raining. It’s only “mostly cloudy.” However, the predicted thunderstorms are due in approximately thirty minutes. On the other hand, as I look at the map, it seems that all of the rain is moving from the west to the north of the DFW Metroplex. So maybe we’ll have that band concert, after all. If so, I need to be at the location early, probably by 3:30, to secure a decent parking spot. Besides the usual shopping at Southlake Town Square, there will be art displays all over the area, so parking will be challenging. Our usual strategy is to catch someone leaving the shopping area and just follow them in our car to wherever they are parked. Creepy, perhaps. But effective.

The Red Sox held off the Cubs last night by scoring five runs in the bottom of the first inning. That was all they needed, as they wound up winning 5-4. Pomeranz got the win for the night. They remain stuck in third place, but only 2.5 games behind Baltimore and NY, who are tied for first.

The Rangers lost to the Angels, 6-3, giving up three in the top of the eighth inning. The loss was credited to Jeffress. They are tied for last place with Oakland, but only five games out of first.

I continue to derive great joy from the fact that the Boo Jays have yet to win 10 games. They are 6-17, nine games out of first, and currently the worst team in MLB. In addition, “Joey Bats” has a pathetic average of .167. How fun is that?


Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! 
Psalm 32:11
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! 
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah. 
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!

Psalm 67:3-5
O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!
Psalm 30:12B
You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.
Psalm 40:5
Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, so it is now and so it shall ever be, world without end. Alleluia. Amen.

(From Living the Message)

Today’s reading is called, “A Series of Broken Relationships.”

There has been a prevalence, especially in the American evangelical tradition, of this idea that “Christian families” should be almost perfect. There should be two parents, who always get along, the children should be well-behaved, never getting in trouble, at least with no one outside of their parents. They should be perfectly obedient, always respecting and obeying everything the parents say. It reminds me of TV shows from the late fifties and early sixties. “Father Knows Best.” “Leave It To Beaver.” “The Munsters.” That last one was a joke.

Eugene H. Peterson reminds us that the Bible knows nothing of this kind of family portrayal. We don’t see, in the Bible, a Norman Rockwell painting of a family sitting around a Thanksgiving turkey, all smiles. Rather, we consistently see “a series of broken relationships in need of redemption.” Even David the King, the “man after God’s own heart,” is said to have broken all ten commandments. I’m not sure if that’s true, but he certainly broke a lot of them. And his family was terribly broken. His own son tried to dethrone and kill him.

Even some of Jesus’s best friends, Mary and Martha squabbled over the household chores.

What this says to us is that we need not carry a burden of guilt because our families aren’t perfect. Christian families should not be expected to automatically only display sweetness and harmony. Why? Because we are all human. We are not perfect. We will not be perfect, this side of heaven.

So, since this fictional model is absent from Scripture, this frees us to pay closer attention to what IS in Scripture – “a promise of new community which experience life as the household of faith, a family in Christ. Life together consists of relationships that are created not by blood (at least not our blood) but by grace. We get along not because we are good but because we are forgiven.”

Christ came and preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders. He treated us as equals, and so made us equals. Through him we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father.
Ephesians 2:17-18 (The Message)

Father, I thank you for the freedom that this truth brings along with it. I don’t remember when I began realizing this, but there was a time when I began to notice that most of the people that are highlighted in the story of redemption (except, of course, Jesus) were just as broken as I am. You used people that needed redemption to illustrate the story of redemption. As Jesus, himself, said, it’s the sick people that need the doctors. We are all broken, and, by all appearances, irreparably broken. But you don’t believe in impossible. You sent the One who can repair us. Now, teach me the disciplines that I need in my life to walk in obedience to the One who has repaired my brokenness.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

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