Friendship and fellowship are two of God’s greatest blessings, and they go hand in hand with the command to love. Over and over throughout the New Testament, the church is commanded to love. Christians are called to love everyone – Friends and enemies, widows and orphans, rich and poor, old and young. But special attention is given to command Christians to love their brethren, those with whom they share the bond of faith. The bond of faith is a blood relationship of a different sort – We weren’t all born to the same parents, but we were washed in the blood of Christ, cleansed by His sacrifice, and the bond of Christian faith is a bond that is eternal. If we aren’t able to love our Christian brethren with genuine love, then whom will we be able to love?
What a delight it was, then, to spend the evening with my pastor’s family, fellowshipping over a meal and then heading over to Stockade Lake as the sun was setting. They had graciously agreed to let me practice family portraits on them, muddling through posing and lighting and everything else that comes with a photo shoot. And it was a joy!
This family is truly characterized by their love of their Savior, which manifests itself in their love for each other and their love for others. J.O. and Dana have a beautiful, Christ-centered marriage, and they love and honor one another so wholly. And their children are a testament to that, thriving and growing as children in their parents’ Gospel-driven home. After finishing up by Stockade Lake and enjoying the pleasure of God’s Creation, we went back to their place for hot chocolate and tea and more good conversation.
Family is a wonderful thing.