We Are Family

Welcome back to another week of my brain spewing out random thoughts and sharing tidbits of my (otherwise) boring life. This month was a big one for my little crew… we’ve been celebrating a few momentous birthdays recently, and my parents just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary! Which is no light task, lemme tell you! Their actual anniversary was earlier this month, but this past weekend was the grand celebration! Of course, post-Covid, we were trying to be sensitive to the fact it was a rather large gathering of people, in an indoor space, and many were of the senior persuasion. All red flags. Still, we figured such a milestone must be celebrated… so we went ahead… and ordered two (yes two) large slab cakes.

It was a wonderful party. Many people made appearances, including some old friends and distant relatives who travelled in. It was certainly nice to make connections again. Some were masked, others were not… but it didn’t seem to matter. What seemed to matter, was legacy, longevity and well, a recognition of what a true milestone fifty years of marriage really is! Which, of course, had me musing!

What kinds of legacies do we leave those around us? What do our accomplishments tell people about what is important in our lives? Do our children see strong family values presented? Do friends and family gather because they love us or simply out of duty or guilt for how it may look to others? How much cake do you really need anyway?

God loves families. He certainly knows we are not perfect. Yet, He designed us to be part of family units from the get-go. He created man and woman… and then children and siblings and mothers-in-law. He allowed Jesus to come to earth, born of a woman, into a family to grow, to be nurtured, to be taught and to be part of a bigger group of connected people. I would like to think that His little band of disciples became like “family” too. Bound together by a common bond. We talk about “church families”, “small groups” and “brothers and sisters in Christ”. We were created to have relationships with one another. To mentor the younger ones, to pass on wisdom and encouragement. I have learned so many things from others.

Saturday, at the party, we laughed about who looks like who and who has so-and-so’s personality. Have you ever been to a family reunion where you just “can tell” that cousins are cousins? I wonder if Jesus looked a little like His brothers? Did He have His mother’s eyes? He certainly had His Father’s will in mind. And it’s true what they say… you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family. It picks you. And you are stuck with it.

God doesn’t make mistakes, though. He knew who belongs where and why. Don’t get me wrong, relationships are hard. And a close relationship is even harder. There is some vulnerability we must face when we are with the family. Perhaps you were taught, like Timothy, by a faith-filled grandmother. Perhaps you have been shunned by your family because of your faith, and your church has become your new family in Christ. The Bible has lots of examples about the good -and the bad- of relationships via relatives. I’m not going to list them, but it might make for an interesting study one day!

No matter where you feel you stand among those who share some part of your DNA, remember this: God placed you there for a purpose. You have something to learn from these people. It may be blatantly evident, or it may take time to discover. Hug them a little closer. Share cake with them. Share some of our cake with them… We have lots leftover!