Church Metaphors (Family/Households of Faith)

Metaphors are an interesting element of language. They provide a way for us to say something with a word image. A word picture often expresses meaning better than just words. Some of my favourite English metaphors include: ground zero, fork in the road, jump the gun, fit as a fiddle, put a sock in it, sharp as a tack, cabin fever, scapegoat, rug rats, snake oil, shake a leg, and shiver my timbers. These are just a few of many metaphors that can be used to spice up a sentence or a conversation. What are some of your favourite metaphors?
In scripture we find metaphors used on numerous occasions. Jesus used metaphors to teach truth. Metaphors were frequently used in scripture to provide a representation for Church (ekklesia). Words such as family, households of faith, building, holy temple, field, bride and body were used as illustrations of Church (ekklesia). Can you think of other word images that might be used for church?
The third Monday in February was established in Alberta and a number of other provinces in Canada as Family Day. It is a day to remember the importance of family and to help us reflect on family values that were/are important to both the pioneers as well as today’s workers. The value and importance of family can be readily seen in scripture. Family is often used as a metaphor for church. Why is that?
“And don’t allow yourselves to be weary or disheartened in planting good seeds, for the season of reaping the wonderful harvest you’ve planted is coming! Take advantage of every opportunity to be a blessing to others, especially to our brothers and sisters in the family of faith!” Galatians‬ ‭6:9-10‬ ‭TPT‬‬
1. Realize the need to be steadfast. There will be good times and bad times.
2. Intentionally build healthy relationships. Make the most of every God given opportunity to help others.
“And now, because we are united to Christ, we both have equal and direct access in the realm of the Holy Spirit to come before the Father! So, you are not foreigners or guests, but rather you are the children of the city of the holy ones, with all the rights as family members of the household of God. You are rising like the perfectly fitted stones of the temple; and your lives are being built up together upon the ideal foundation laid by the apostles and prophets, and best of all, you are connected to the Head Cornerstone of the building, the Anointed One, Jesus Christ himself! … This means that God is transforming each one of you into the Holy of Holies, his dwelling place, through the power of the Holy Spirit living in you!” Ephesians‬ ‭2:18-20, 22‬ ‭TPT‬‬
3. Identify as a child of God. A member of His family.
4. Foundation of the church (ekklesia) is Jesus (He is the head). His disciples follow Him and His teachings.
5. Transformation will happen. God has begun a good work in you and will complete it.
6. Participate not spectate.
In the family, happiness is in the ratio in which each is serving the others, seeking one another’s good, and bearing one another’s burdens. Henry Ward Beecher
When all the dust is settled and all the crowds are gone, the things that matter are faith, family, and friends. Barbara Bush
Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs. The ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what. Unknown
Christian faith is… basically about love and being loved and reconciliation. These things are so important, they’re foundational and they can transform individuals, families. Philip Yancey
Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. Jane Howard
Faith needs to be lived and demonstrated not only in the public sphere but in private places, especially in ones’ home. RR
|| Learn daily || Do good || Be real ||

Matthew West: Family Tree