By: Tim Sader
Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. (1 Peter 2:17)
Our youth leader Steve became a friend to each of us and under his leadership we saw the example of Christ that we still aspire to be. Alongside of and interwoven into youth group I hung out with some great guys and we became The BH (Brotherhood). We were like a gang but not so we could hurt people or commit crimes. Most of us were misfits in school and society so we devoted our loyalty to each other so that we knew someone had our back. In the beginning there were only six of us and the only way to join was to be invited after a unanimous vote. After joining we picked nicknames; Drac (Joseph), Ro (Roger), Blue (Jamie), Murf (Sean), my brother Smurf (Joey) and I was Zonk. All of us and any new member had to be initiated by eating an extremely hot pepper that we referred to as the BH pepper. We met every weekend at my friend Joseph’s where we would make food that we called stuff, drink highly caffeinated soda, stay up all night playing videogames and being crazy. Stuff had specific rules; seven random ingredients, seasonings only counts as one, had to have potatoes or pasta, mixed in one big bowl and be enough for everyone to eat. BH stuff was our signature dish it was tri-colored pasta, spaghetti sauce, baby corns, Asian mushrooms, cocktail onions and seasoning. It cost us less than ten dollars to make so we could always scrap up the money to buy it. After eating we would sit around holding our bellies, talking about life, telling jokes and laughing. Some of us would then play videogames, watch a movie or hangout on the front porch. If girls came over we would play truth or dare and just hang out listening to music. Some nights we would walk around town in the middle of the night, halfway looking for trouble and hoping we wouldn’t find any. Sometimes the guys who could would wrestle on the trampoline and we would play with BB guns shooting at each other to look tough. When we called on a brother for a BH matter we were required to show up within our power to do so or face whatever consicuinse was appropriate.
There was no getting out of the Brotherhood and though I haven’t seen some of them in fifteen years they are still brothers to me. We had honor for the majority of people but we loved the brotherhood that we shared. We feared nothing but the Lord and for the most part obeyed the laws. The family we are born into is our blood but sometimes we are more connected to the people we surround ourselves with. Often times these are the ones who fulfill the role of family in our lives (Mt. 12:49). There is something to be said about gathering at the table to eat a meal. It was never much about what we were eating as it was about spending time with eachother to prepare the food and having conversion around the table (1 Cor. 11:33). This is where we learned what was sad, funny, happy or depressing; it is where we shared life and made plans about how to deal with it. As our group grew into our faith it brought us closer to one another. Most of us started meeting weekly to have a bible study that we took turns teaching. We learned that hearing and obeying the word of God moreso connected our brotherhood (Lk. 8:21). Through our rejoicing in the Lord by teaching and remembering what we have learned we became a safeguard to each others faith (Phil. 3:1). A few times reminders were harsh but we had accountability and held in high regard the faith of our brothers. I loved these guys like I did my brother; I always wanted to hang out with them because they brought me joy and made me feel important. As we stood in our faith together we were stronger in the Lord than we ever were alone (Phil. 4:1). We cared about the struggles each of us had and together we had the strength to face some of our darkest days (1 Pt. 5:8-9). Cain murdered the brother of his flesh because he was evil and Able was righteous. The world may hate us but because we love we have a bond with brothers and sisters in the Lord so we are not concerned (1 Jn. 3:12-14). If we do not love one another we remain in death.
Who have been brothers or sisters in our lives? Perhaps we have a great relationship with our biological families so that everyone is in relationship with the Lord. This is a huge blessing that should never be despised. Maybe some or all of our family have hindered our faith and this is most unfortunate but it is not hopeless. If we believe in Christ we are brothers and sisters in his family and we can share him with everyone. We must honor all people including ones with our blood but we have one another to enjoy and together we can stand through anything that might try to bring us down.
Lord I pray for devoted brothers and sisters in my life who will enjoy talking around the table with me so that we can share the ups and downs of life. It is my prayer that they would love you Lord like I love you and have devoted my life to you. I ask that they would help me be strong in my faith and that I would have the courage to keep them accountable to theirs. Let us teach one another about you so that we can grow closer and closer to you. In Jesus Name, Amen.
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