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God ordained that you are a familial being, because he is thoroughly familial himself. Our Father conceived the idea of parents and children. Both your physical birth and your rebirth in Christ needed a context of parental nurture, protection, and encouragement for you to grow up. Brothers and sisters are his idea, too. He adopts and raises lots of kids. Whether in your family of origin or in the family of God, each of us needs to learn how to care for and cooperate with our siblings.
The Lord also birthed friendship along familial lines. Jesus is not ashamed to be called our older brother and to call us his friends. Friendship grows when we are brotherly and sisterly with others.
And ministry is still another familial practice designed by God. Paul described his pastoral care in both motherly and fatherly terms (1 Thess 2). And he equipped the church to be brothers and sisters who are growing up to take on parental responsibilities in ministry to each other.
We are familial—by design. This is in the deep structure of what it means to be human. This talk sets the stage for our conference this weekend.