Who Is Family?

Photo by Josh Howard on Unsplash

Psalm 2; Acts 13:32–41; Galatians 4:1–8

I was Luke Skywalker for Halloween. I was attired like he was when we first see him in Star Wars (now re-titled “Episode IV: A New Hope”). Needless to say, I was excited to see The Empire Strikes back a few years later. Then my world was shaken. My hero, Luke Skywalker, had his arm chopped off and Darth Vader (the archetypal bad guy) reveals that he is Luke Skywalker’s father.

(the scene of Luke trying to escape Darth Vader who reaches out his hand and says, “Luke…I am your father…,” and Luke screams, “NO!”)

Granted, Leia was more shocked when she learned that she was Luke Skywalker’s sister and thus also the daughter of Darth Vader, whom she would have been raised to oppose (though I will say that the ing of both Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher left a lot to be desired for that scene).

There are likely many of us who would say they have not had such a reist event in their lives. If you were raised in the from childhood, coming to know Jesus Christ is not the same life-altering experience as it could have been.

This is not the case with all, for some wandered away in their s while still showing up in the building and mouthing the words. Others walked out, cursing, drinking, smoking, or whatever other issue that some person got all offed about. Some of these indeed did have that life-altering experience, which is why they came back to the family of God.

For those, though, whose encounter with Jesus was life-trajectory-altering this glimpse of a truly messed-up family dynamic (from Star Wars) makes sense. While not the seemingly negative of being identified with the galaxy’s number 2 most and hated person, coming to identify oneself as a child of the creator of everything is definitely a for many.

For those of a more intellectual bent, we can assent to Jesus being Lord and Savior, and even assent to being a child of God. The emotional switch to go from assent to embrace (mind to ) can be ificantly altering.

For those of a more emotional bent, we can have a that loves Jesus, and is grateful that he is Lord and Savior. Our s will be formed (whether twisted or beautiful) by our family/life history, and the to embrace the fullness of being a child of God can be almost impossible as our s are stuck in their ways (s often being harder to than minds).

The ificance of this is that many, even most, of “the ” body may not have had that experience. This makes it hard to reach people for whom this experience will have to happen for them to come and know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Often, all we can do is pray and be ready to be there when their world shifts.


1) Who do you identify with the most, the intellectual, the emotional, or the trajectory-altered? Why?

2) Why is it important to understand how much of a —just on an emotional and intellectual level—is being “ed” of those who do not yet know, or need to come back and know, Jesus?

3) How does understanding what was a brand-new way of life, thinking, and belong meant to the early (i.e., in Acts and Galatians) imp or should imp how we in the today operate and think?


Jesus, through the power of the , and as children of God the Father, help us to gain and/or never lose the life transformational understanding of what a relationship with you means. Amen.

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.