Andy had just moved into the area and was settling into a new church. He felt a bit uncomfortable as several of the men in the church actually kind of hugged each other on Sunday mornings as they said, “Good morning brother.” While Andy had played the major sports growing up and certainly hugged a teammate after a big play or victory, he saw hugging as odd for church etiquette and steered clear of those men.
One Sunday, one of “those men” came up to Andy, extended his hand for a handshake and introduced himself. He told Andy of a small group of men that met at a local breakfast establishment on Friday mornings and invited him to join them if his schedule allowed. Fridays worked for Andy so he decided to join them with the idea that it would be good to meet some other guys in the church and it might even help his business network. When he showed up the following Friday, sure enough several of the guys hugged as they greeted each other but some didn’t. Just about all of the ten or so men present had brought their Bible and one guy had his open to the gospel of John. A passage was read out of chapter 20 as the men settled in and they began discussing the passage and its application to their lives today. The discussion got a little personal and as one man shared his story it was obvious to Andy that these men had established a good level of trust with each other. After the breakfast, the leader talked one-on-one with Andy about the level of confidentiality respected in the group, that it was the key to helping all the men connect as “brothers”. Andy was impacted by the morning and began to join the group regularly.
Be a Brother: “Do not hold on to Me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.’” – John 20:17. Jesus had promoted the disciples from servants to friends earlier and now, upon His resurrection He calls them brothers. Paul explains this further in his letter to the Romans: “… but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, …”- Rom.8:15-17. This is a relationship with the Father and with each other that those without Christ cannot comprehend. What Andy realized after a couple of months with his new small group is that he did not have a relationship with Jesus the Christ. He had done the Christian things like going to church and doing some work projects but he had never really been a Christian. When he confessed his sin and accepted Christ as his Savior and Lord one morning in small group, he got it. He began to lean into the relationships with his brothers and experienced the comfort of the Father with the clarity that is Christ’s presence in him. Andy now hugs his brothers when they meet.
Prayer guide: Lord, thank You for reconnecting what got disconnected in the Garden, the relationship our Father desires to have with us. Help me walk in confidence as an heir of You and co-heir with Jesus the Christ. Bring Christian brothers into my life that I can be real with, be accountable to and be strengthened by as we navigate through this world together. Amen.
A faithful father has brothers he can be real with, accountable to and strengthened by.