The Christian Community as God’s family


by Mario Vega

The Lord Jesus taught his disciples to pray to God as father. This idea was quite innovative since in the Old Testament God had been viewed with great reverence and at a distance. He was called “The Most High,” “Almighty,” “Holy,” “Eternal,” etc. But the idea of seeing him as a parent was completely new.

While invoking God as father, the ideas of fear, distance and misunderstanding started to dissolve to make way for trust, security and access. While the relationship between the person and God changed, the relationship with others also changed. If God is the father, then Christians are brothers and sisters. Even though the term “brother” was already used in Judaism, it wasn’t until Christianity that the term took on a whole new perspective.

The New Testament letters abound in the use of the word “brother” to refer to other believers. The book of Acts is a story that refers to the relationship between believers and calls them “brothers”.

But it is not just about a title. It is the verbal expression of an experience that made Christians see themselves as members of a family rather than of a religion. These relationships had love as a constant note. The believers were often closer to each other than relations within a natural family. The fullness of Christian life was achieved when people understood that they had become part of a community of love, where the elderly were seen as parents, older women as mothers, young boys as brothers and young girls as sisters. Trust and respect were the characteristics of the early Christians.



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La comunidad cristiana como familia de Dios

por Mario Vega

El Señor Jesús enseñó a sus discpulos a invocar a Dios como un padre. Esta idea era totalmente innovadora ya que en el Antiguo Testamento a Dios se le haba visto con gran reverencia en la lejana. Se le llamaba “Altsimo”, “Todopoderoso”, “Santo”, “Eterno”, etc. Pero la idea de verle como un padre de familia era totalmente nueva.

Al invocar a Dios por padre las ideas de temor, distancia e incomprensión comenzaban a disolverse para dar paso a la confianza, seguridad y acceso. Al cambiar la relación entre la persona y Dios, también cambiaba su relación con las demás personas. Si Dios es el padre, entonces los cristianos son hermanos entre s. Aunque la expresión “hermano” era ya usada en el judasmo, es en el cristianismo que el término llegó a adquirir una presencia constante.

Las cartas del Nuevo Testamento abundan en el uso de la palabra “hermano” para referirse a los otros creyentes. El libro de Los Hechos es un relato que siempre que se refiere a otros cristianos o de las relaciones entre ellos les da el ttulo de “hermanos”.

Pero no se trata solo de un ttulo. Es la expresión verbal de una vivencia que haca que los cristianos se viesen como miembros de una familia antes que de una religión. Las relaciones tenan como nota constante el amor. Eran más cercanos entre s que lo que, a veces, podan ser las relaciones dentro de una familia. La plenitud de la vida cristiana se alcanzaba cuando las personas comprendan que llegaban a ser parte de una comunidad de amor y en donde a los ancianos se les vea como a padres, a las ancianas como a madres, a los jóvenes como hermanos y a las jovencitas como hermanas. Confianza al mismo tiempo que respeto eran las caractersticas de los primeros cristianos.

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