Have you seen the movie The Willoughbys? Narrated by a cat, it centres around four siblings who are neglected by their parents and tells us that “the best stories are the hard ones.”
After multiple rejections, loss and a particularly gruelling voyage, it turns out that despite their parents never providing them with the family they deserved or needed, there is someone who is prepared to sail over the ocean, climb the unclimbable and go to the ends of the earth to save them. On reaching the children, the children are invited to become family. And so they become “a perfectly imperfect family. And while they didn’t get everything they wanted, they got what they needed.”
Sounds like the church right? A perfectly imperfect family.
The whole foundation of our faith, the gospel, is one of the best, but hardest stories. But as the Cat concludes, “I guess we all need love. Even me.”
We have someone who went far beyond crossing raging waters and climbing icy mountains, Jesus “descended from heaven” (John 3:13) to “give life to the world” (John 6:33). To give life and love to you.
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” (1 John 3:1). We all need love, and that love cannot be found apart from God. He is love. We all need family, community, intimacy with others, and that’s what Jesus won for us on the cross – our adoption into God’s family, and our place in His church.
But the church is not perfect. And we do not always get what we want. But with Jesus as the head, we know that we will get what we need and as imperfect as others might sometimes be, there’s a lot to learn from The Willoughbys if we choose to stick together on our mission.