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Family Resemblance

Family Resemblance

by Rev. Laura Parker on April 15, 2021

Mothers’ Day, 2018


1 John 3:1-3:

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.


Yes, that is my mom! Yes, I look very much like her!


This photo was taken several years ago after we had been to church together on Mothers’ Day. After retirement, my parents moved back to the town where they grew up and returned to the church in that community where they were baptized and married. Lots of my kinfolk worship at that church every Sunday. (Quite a few are buried in the cemetery out back!) Many in the church are family friends who have known my mother since they were in school together. And anytime I visit with my mom, I get ready for the comments that all go something like this: “I can tell you are Ann’s daughter!” They are not alone in seeing this resemblance. Sometimes I pass by a mirror and do a double take myself. In my mind, I am still, oh, maybe 30. So, when I catch a glimpse of that middle-aged woman in the mirror (yes, thank you for asking, I do plan to live to be 120) I look again because how did my mother get there in that reflection?


What kind of family resemblance do you carry? My devotional reading today took me to this passage in 1 John, reminding the reader that we are meant to carry a very particular family resemblance. God intends that we grow into God’s likeness, perfectly revealed to us in Jesus Christ. As children of God, we are to be God’s very hands, feet and heart to the world around us. What if people had to do a double take—so keenly do we carry the family resemblance of our heavenly father?


In some way, we as Christians are called to replicate the nature and goodness of our heavenly father. Our post-Easter discipleship challenge is to examine how well we are living into this call. Do we love as God loves? Do we forgive as God forgives? Do we have the patience for others that God has with us? Are we kind as God is kind? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone met us and—because we resemble our Father so perfectly—that person was drawn to believe in God?


It is God’s first and best plan for each of us!


Dear God, you are indeed our heavenly parent, and it is humbling to know we are created in your image. Sin came into the world and that image was broken, but the resurrection of Jesus Christ means that all things can be made new. We CAN replicate the image of God in the way we live and love. So, God, let it be so for us as we allow ourselves to be made new in this Easter season. Amen.  

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