Family (n.):

4. any group of persons closely related by blood, as parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins
5. all those persons considered as descendants of a common progenitor

Family? That is the definition of family? Okay. What if mine is scattered across the country, or divorced into multiple families, or what if I’m completely alone with no family? What then? Who is my family then?

I am part of the “severed and broken family” category. I am no theologian, nor do I study the Word as often as I should, but through what Scripture says about community, I have learned to make family wherever I go, as many other students at CBU have also discovered how to do. CBU is a portion of the body of Christ. We are a community of Believers, Hopers, Prayers, Lovers, Studiers, and Conquerors, united not by a name or family tree, but by the Father’s Son, whose death and resurrection granted us the opportunity for our names to be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life – the one, true and eternal family tree.

Man was not created to be alone, as God said amid His creation, developing the idea of community and togetherness through Adam and Eve’s wedded union as the first man and wife. As the earth populated, full and teeming with life as well as sin, the cusp of humanity – the life, death, and resurrection of the Messiah – brought to fullness the essentiality of the eternal family. In Matthew 12, as Jesus heals the lame and sick and is speaking, His earthly family request that they speak with Him, but He replies, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” and gesturing to His disciples, He establishes His family: “Here are my mother and brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” In that passage, He re-determines the definition of family to being a spiritual bond rather than a physical bond.

This school, overflowing with faith, wisdom, knowledge, companionship, and servanthood, is one of the most unique places we will be throughout our lives. With more than 6,000 students, most professing Christians, and hundreds of faculty with a 100 percent Bible-believing faith, we have the opportunity to build a family onto the Living Stone, the resurrected Christ, that will be of the eternal kind – the kind that the Father knits closer together than that of our own kinfolk because it seeks to do the work for His Kingdom together as one body. It is our duty to build up the Body, encouraging one another, bearing one another’s burdens, daily dying to our own desires for that of a brother or sister, so that when the world looks into our faces, they may see Christ looking back at them. As many other students can say along with me, I knew this was where I was meant to be. I could feel the Spirit moving through the community, patching together torn and empty hearts with the love and support of other God-fearing followers of Christ, bonding each student to the next to form one singular community.

Physically, I may not share blood with another student here nor bear the same family name, but because of the eternally-claiming blood spilled on Calvary, we spiritually have been named as God’s children – a bond that will transcend any earthly, relational name or family, lasting for all eternity in our Father’s heavenly house.