This weekend, I was blessed to be amongst 125 blood relatives and dear friends for a reunion of family in Detroit, Michigan. It is a tradition we have upheld for over 100 years now that, by the grace of God continues. Only COVID interrupted our streak for two years and, believe me, it felt like we were missing out on sooo much life! When we resumed in Fort Lauderdale, Florida last year, we fell on each others necks with kisses, laughter and pure joy.
Our oldest family member is 103. She didn't attend the reunion this year but sent us a handwritten note letting us know she was thinking about us, missed us and would keep us lifted up in prayer; there were few dry eyes in the house when that letter was read.
Tweet this: A family that prays together stays together.
We have two dear friends that were presented with papers officially adopting them into the family; there was a ceremony and everything. We can be "extra" but it's all good!
That made me think about how the Lord sent His son to make sure we were adopted into the family generations ago. He loves us that much to make sure we have a path to salvation, redemption and adoption. Just like my family, all those who claim our name are automatically admitted into the reunion.
Aren't we glad that God has shown us this model to follow? We can have continuous fellowship with the family of believers through our Lord and Savior Jesus. And when we flow in His example of love, forgiveness and acceptance, we can call ourselves by the family name, "Christian."
Here are just some of the characteristics I've noticed about healthy families, both blood and spiritual:
They support one another through good and hard times.
They lend material assistance when needed.
They are slow to take offense and quick to forgive.
They start and end with the words, "I love you."
There is no offense that cannot be mended.
Connections grow stronger with proximity.
Does this sound like your family? How about your church?
If so, you are blessed beyond measure!! So many friends are astounded at how close my extended family is. Truthfully, my family is a source of pride. But what we know for sure is, if we don't give thanks to our God for all that He has brought together, our unity won't last long.
It's the same way with the church.
1 Chronicles 16:8 NLT reads: "Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the world know what he has done."
If you are blessed to be a part of a healthy church and a healthy family, tell someone. It might be just the encouragement someone else needs to create the same environment in their family and church.
Much love! Sylvia
Song: Goodness of God by CeCe Winans