Recently on Facebook we joyfully shared the news that our daughter, Morgan, had gotten her first job out of college—at AdventHealth in Orlando, Florida.
Immediately the likes and comments began pouring in from Morgan’s relatives, classmates, and friends she’d grown up with.
But intermingled with this circle of voices was another circle of voices that rejoiced with our rejoicing.
These voices were not those of relatives, classmates, or childhood friends. Instead, they were Morgan’s church family: people of all ages and backgrounds who had watched our daughter grow up Sabbath after Sabbath.
“That’s amazing! Congratulations!” wrote Samantha, a recently retired church member.
“Way to go . . . so happy for her,” wrote Elizabeth, a mom of two younger children.
There’s a trend toward separating worshippers by age, but the church Jesus invented wasn’t separated.
“I was praying for her! I’m so happy she got it!” wrote Lizzy, a former college student who watched Morgan grow up.
“Well done, Morgan!” wrote Angela, another former college student who did two Christmas plays with Morgan as a little girl.
“Awesome, so proud of Morgan!” wrote Volker, an elder who never misses a Sabbath.
“Morgan flip flop, you make me so proud,” wrote Kendra, a mom of two who remembers absolutely everything, including Morgan’s childhood e-mail address: “morganflipflop.”
“Exciting!” wrote Carmella.
“So awesome!” wrote Brooke.
“I’ll be working for her pretty soon,” wrote Victor, dermatologist and church lobby comedian.
“Congratulations, Morgan, well done!” wrote Steve, head elder.
“How exciting! Congratulations!” wrote Ashley, church ministry coordinator.
“Such wonderful news and sooo deserved! Anyone working with Morgan will be very blessed indeed!” wrote Carole, children’s pastor.
“Wow, Morgan! I remember when you were so small . . . and now look at you!” wrote Sarah, another former college student.
“So proud of her! I can’t wait to see what God has planned for her!” wrote Tammy, a professional who reminds me of Morgan.
Outside of church, Morgan would not have known most of these people. She wouldn’t have done Christmas plays with Angela or been teased by Victor or been hugged by Tammy or been encouraged by Volker.
As Morgan’s parents we’re particularly grateful to the young adult mentors in Morgan’s life—the collegians and young professionals who came to church faithfully and cared about our three girls. Often within modern church culture there’s a trend toward separating worshippers by age, but the church Jesus invented wasn’t separated. They were together (Acts 2:42-47).
Jesus Himself once turned to a circle of people seated around Him and announced that they were his “brother and sister and mother” (Mark 3:35).
Apparently being part of the family of Jesus isn’t about our blood; it’s about His.
Andy Nash ([email protected]) is a pastor in Denver, Colorado. He leads a study tour to Israel every summer.