The Christian Mafia

Like most families, the Toussaint clan has its idiosyncrasies. And like almost every family, we love hard, fight ferociously and can have deep divides among ourselves. Maybe this sort of thing comes as a surprise to you, as I am sure that we look like the perfect family to everyone else in the world (Ha Ha!). And while we can say things to one another, we are fiercely defensive and protective of one another if anyone outside our immediate nuclear family should raise a voice, or a hand, against any of us. Now this “circle of trust” includes Janet, our three children and myself. Of course, by extension, our four grandsons are included as well, but they are still young and haven’t yet had to experience the call to come to the aid of a family member in need. But sure enough, sooner or later, they will become full card carrying members of the group.

Not so long ago, Kristin nicknamed us “The Christian Mafia.” We are family, protect one another, can have terrible run-ins, but in the end we stick together against all odds. And each of us has unique traits that come to the surface when our special skills are required in any particular situation.

Kristin is the funny one and it’s tough to not have a good time when she is around. In fact, due to a serious medical reason, she is on a very strict diet. She described it as being as close as possible to eating what Jesus ate – and that sucks… She then reminded us that Jesus doesn’t suck – just the diet… ¬†Andrew is the compassionate one who is very knowledgable in many different areas of family concern and helps the rest of us by usually being the voice of reason, assuming he is not too emotionally invested in the issue. And Jill is the one who can quickly come up with ways to handle people who attack the family. Just a heads up – she’s the one you don’t want to cross…

Janet is the glue that binds us all together and although she maintains that all the kids are intense, like I am, she successfully maintains her cool and always gets her point across. I am Mr. Fix-it. I can’t stand to have unresolved problems or issues and I am the one who negotiates the deals and comes in to rescue situations. And more times than not, the kids don’t necessarily want that – they just want me to listen and then they want to figure out the solution to whatever is bothering them.

Together, we make quite a team – and it’s no secret that nobody else would understand us – and that’s just fine. Because we know who we are and we are secure in our love for one another – whatever the circumstances. Whether the burdens are financial, medical or social, we all come together when the chips are down. And I am quite sure that virtually every family in the country can say the same thing. It’s like that old adage – I can say stuff about my kids, but you better not say stuff about my kids, even if it’s true…

Jesus and His Father are the leaders of the family of Christians. While we can fight among ourselves as brothers and sisters, the bottom line is that we should be of one mind and acknowledge the heads of the family. And when they prune us, or correct us, or discipline us, we should be able to understand that this goes with being a member of the family. Likewise, we can say things to one another but we don’t like it when any of us are attacked by outsiders and we are usually pretty quick to come to the rescue of one another.

And let’s face another reality. Jesus speaks to the Father on our behalf and both Father and Son protect us as family members. That’s as it should be – and it’s something that brings me comfort. The verse for this evening is from the Psalms. We are told by the psalmist, in Psa. 100:3, “Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.” Makes you feel kind of special, doesn’t it?

My encouragement tonight is that Jesus is glad to have you as a member of His family and will do anything to protect you from evil. My prayer is that you will realize how great it is to be loved and protected by Jesus. After all, He went to the cross and sacrificed His life for all sinners and those of us who have turned our lives over to Him are eternal members of His immediate family. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

 
 
 
 

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