When I was young we got a call from a distant cousin whose child was stranded at the downtown bus station and the next bus out was hours ahead. My mom was so excited that she was able to offer hospitality to the young cousin and comfort to the parents who had been more frequently seen when she was a child herself.
Today we have some of our closest family are tending to urgent needs of aging parents and we are some distance away wishing we could find some tangible way to offer them comfort and so be comforted ourselves.
It is the same with family of choice, those folks who offer and accept the same kind of love and care over the years and become known among the family of blood that they have a place at the table at all times and in all circumstances.
This is how God expects us to treat one another. We may not find the face familiar or the name pronounceable, but they are still our family as children of God. How wonderful, and too rare, that we have a follower of Christ who leads his church body with the courage to speak such wisdom. Will we have a crisis in Syrian refuges if every 3rd church in the world reaches out to adopt one family or one person?
Matthew 25: 35-40 “Then the king will say to the godly people on his right, ‘Come, my Father has great blessings for you. The kingdom he promised is now yours. It has been prepared for you since the world was made. It is yours because when I was hungry, you gave me food to eat. When I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I had no place to stay, you welcomed me into your home. When I was without clothes, you gave me something to wear. When I was sick, you cared for me. When I was in prison, you came to visit me. Then the godly people will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you food? When did we see you thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you with no place to stay and welcome you into our home? When did we see you without clothes and give you something to wear? When did we see you sick or in prison and care for you?’“Then the king will answer, ‘The truth is, anything you did for any of my people here, you also did for me.’
It seems to me that this is the crux of "what is family," questiong? Who are the family of God. It is all of us and we can always improve our family relationships.