Reflections on Faith and Community
In this blog, you will find weekly reflections on life and faith. My hope is that, in some way, they will prove helpful to you in your daily living. May God bless you on the spiritual journey.
Andrew S. Odom
But Ruth said, “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” (Ruth 1:16)
What makes us family? This is the question Ruth is presented with in her story. She married into a family, but then her husband died. Naomi, Ruth’s mother in law, told her that she could go back home. “Go back to your mother’s house,” she said. “No,” replied Ruth, “My family is here.” What makes us family?
For Christians, the idea of family goes beyond the group we are born into and are raised in. This part of family is an important one for sure, but when we are baptized, we are welcomed into a larger family defined specifically by the love of Christ.
On Sunday afternoon, people from the wider family came together at Canyon Creek to be part of Chris Lee’s installation as associate pastor. They came from all over, including many pastors and elders and members from other churches. The music was broad, from traditional hymns led by our organist, Jordan DeRouen, to old gospel music sung by Brandy Lee and her mother Donna Allen, to more recent music sung by Kelly Vaughn and his wife Stefanie Tapley, all representing the different flavors of different parts of the family.
One connection that was not made obvious in the service was our guest preacher, Dr. Tom Currie. Tom served as dean of Union Presbyterian Seminary’s Charlotte location where Chris took classes. Chris and Tom liked each other right away. Seeing Tom again was particularly special for me, though, because he was also my grandparents pastor in Kerrville, Texas before going to Charlotte. The last time I heard him preach was at my grandfather’s funeral.
I sat there in the service looking out at family, people who, like Ruth infers in her reply to Naomi, are brought together by a connection beyond bloodlines and fondness. I sat there in deep gratitude for the love of God in Jesus Christ that makes us sisters and brothers. We are family.
Published on 09/25/2018 @ 8:18 AM CDT