What makes a family, well, a family? Is it a mom and dad and children? Is it people who live under the same roof who love each other? Do aunts and uncles count? Does it include everyone in your genealogical family tree? Are pets included or only people? I think I’m partial to the person who said, “My family is temperamental – half temper, half mental.”

I’ve been thinking about family in the context of our theme for this school year “You are not alone…you’re connected!” based on John 16:32b-33. In the world we live in today families come in all shapes and sizes. Just recently I’ve interacted with one St. Luke’s family that now includes a foster child and another that adopted a teenage girl. In my career as an administrator I’ve seen more and more grandparents raising their grandchildren. So how do we define family? I think I’ll stick with what Jesus said in Mark 3. When told his mother and brothers were looking for him he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.” Mark 3:33-35. Regardless of your current family situation you have a “forever family” in the body of Christ. We can all rejoice because the family of God is the one we can never be separated from.