Day 40: "Home at last."

"The Son took on flesh and blood, now and forever, because it is God's eternal purpose for the sons and daughters of the earth—that's us!—to be welcomed in, to enter the dance, to be adopted into the family of God."

—From Ch. 40 ("In the Beginning"), Jesus Journey

In the beginning... Let us. In the beginning... with. Predestined to be... family.  

The truth that has hit me hardest in this journey with Jesus that Trent has led us on is that "family" was the point from the beginning. Not only has God always existed in community, but we've always been destined to be part of that community. Humanity was created in God's image and we were made to dance with our creator.

I've always had a pretty high view of family. Maybe it has something to do with strange customs like eating that fish jello we Swedes call lutefisk. Maybe it's childhood memories of sitting on the dock or around the campfire with aunts, uncles, and cousins. More likely, it comes from being blessed with relatives who love unconditionally and celebrate each other, despite our flaws and frustrations.

Now that I have my own family, I get an up close view of the joys and trials of dealing with people who are created in my own image (and, thankfully, my wife's image is strong in our little ones!).  When I reflect on what I really want for my kids it helps give me a glimpse of what my Father wants for me.

I want my children to enjoy full lives using their gifts, but I care way more about their hearts than any results they might produce.

I want them to make wise, healthy choices, but I fully expect them to make mistakes, and I'm eager to help them find forgiveness and wholeness.

My wife and I are our kids' biggest fans and above all we want them to know that they are loved and supported, no matter what. I think this is because we are created to reflect (though, dimly) our Father' heart...

I still remember the moment on a Sunday morning in Trent's living room when this reality washed over me like a cleansing wave—that our Father has always planned on adopting us into His family, since before the beginning.

The Apostle Paul says it like this: "He chose us in him before the world was made… He foreordained us for himself, to be adopted as sons and daughters through Jesus the king. That’s how he wanted it, and that’s what gave him delight…" [Ephesians 1:4-5]
The journey Jesus has taken into humanity is God's way of embracing us all, of calling his "sons and daughters"yes, that's us!home at last.

Today's guest post is by Matthew Neave (aka the "Matthew" of the "gentle beasts" in the acknowledgements): Matthew lives in East Boston with his wife, Pam, and their three kiddos. He spends his working days as an engineer trying to get things to straighten up and fly right. He loves exploring the world with his family, whether by bike, hike, car, or train. Lately, they've had the joy of seeing a brand new family developing at the East Boston Community Soup Kitchen.

Photo credits: "mountain trek" & "running"—Chelsea Hudson / "family"—Stephanie Pekrul