July 4, 2008
Family Ties that Free Us
by Laura MacCorkle, Crosswalk.com Senior Entertainment Editor
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourself with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Galatians 3:26-29, NIV
I am proud to be a card-carrying member in the MacCorkle family.
Interestingly enough, during my formative years I was instantly known by my last name as it somehow stood out from the Smiths, the Browns or other more common ancestral designations.
Once I entered school, I was immediately associated with my older sister Lisa. "Oh, you're Lisa's sister. She's such a good student!" my teachers would say as I began each new grade. Whew. I'm safe for now. Or at least until I open my mouth. ...
As I made my way through the various groups at my church (Sunday School, choir, Pioneer Girls, youth group), my leaders would identify me with my parents. "Aren't you David's and Paula's daughter?" Well, that depends. Am I in trouble or not?
In high school, I worked part time at my dad's place of employment-a well-known institution of theological higher education. And I got similar remarks: "Oh! You're a MacCorkle!" But of course! Would you like me to recite all the Bible verses I've memorized since birth - with or without inflection?
When I got to college, since I chose to attend a school near the area where my folks had been raised I was around the offspring of some of my parents' friends. I would hear: "Did you say your name was 'MacCorkle'? Our parents knew each other back in the day!" And one can only hope that I am not embarrassing them right now. Or later tonight, with the prank I have planned back at the dorm...
I know that I jest a little. But in all seriousness, being identified as a member of my family has been comforting to me over the years. Sure, I was always a little different from the rest of my clan. But when it felt like the rest of the world was against me, I knew that I had the freedom to be myself and would always be accepted with open arms in my family.
Now I realize my experience does not echo that of many others who might be reading this today. You may have not experienced the joys of a loving, earthly family. Or for various reasons, you may not even want to be associated with your relatives. Perhaps you broke free from those ties as soon as you could. Or maybe you were treated poorly by the ones you thought would always be there for you and claim you as their own.
No matter your situation, there is good news. If you are a believer in Christ, then you are a member of the best and most loving family of all: God's family!
As you celebrate the freedom of a nation today, remember that because of your heritage in Christ Jesus, you are free from the chains of sin. You have an inheritance. You have brothers and sisters. And through the shed blood of the Lamb, your position in this royal family is secure.
Intersecting Faith & Life: This Fourth of July, while Americans celebrate independence and the birth of a great nation, remember to pray for other members of God's family worldwide who have lost their earthly freedom and are currently imprisoned and suffering for their faith