Family Photos

Tell me if this is you: Friends invite you to their house for the evening and, before the night is over, you’ve perused the pictures that rest on their shelves and pondered and portraits that hang from their walls. For while an open door welcomes you into their house, it is the family photos that draw you into their life.

Even in our own home, family in frame calls us to pause and remembrance. Wooden edges encase memories of loving and living, of taking and giving; golden perimeters surround stories of coming and going, of aging and growing. We smile at goofy glasses and toothy grins, and we laugh at paisley polyesters and passé plaids. Some images return us to moments of joy, while some summon a lump to the throat, and still others remind us to forgive yet again.

The Bible tells us that Jesus “dwells in [our] hearts by faith.”1 We are His home, for He resides in all who believe in Him and welcome Him in. No lens has captured His image, of course, but even as He lives with us and in us, we have a very special way to pause, remember what He has done, and take in all that He was and is and always will be: it’s called communion. When we break bread and partake of the wine together, we remember the One who instituted this outward sign of an inner grace. For as He held up the bread and lifted the cup, He declared His covenant with us and His presence in us until He comes again.

Then in renewed confidence, we go forth in the perpetual assurance that He goes in us. In fresh humility, we serve others in the knowledge it is He who works through us. In unity of the Spirit, we remember none of us lives alone, for He has made us to be one with each other—children of the same Father, united in His Son, all included in one family picture.

Father, thank you for sending us your Son. Grace us to live and serve as one, always remembering Jesus, who united us forever in Him. In His name and by the power of your Spirit, I pray. Amen.

Christ in me is life.

1 Ephesians 3:17

Read Paul’s teaching on the Lord’s supper in 1 Corinthians 11:23-26.

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