Thanksgiving is a time for family gatherings – time when people travel great distances to be with those they grew up with, disagreed with, competed with. A Hallmark moment if ever there was one. How many times have you gone through the process of preparing a wonderful meal, making sure your house is Pinterest Perfect. Your guest room looks like a fancy hotel room, complete with mints on the bed and room service on demand. Well, maybe not quite that extreme.
When we’re hosting an event like this, we want everything to look wonderful – to taste delicious – to feel comfortable and enjoyable. Yet, most families have grown apart over time. If it isn’t because of relocation, the start of a new career or beginning of a new family. Whatever the case, families don’t get together as often as they used to.
I recall family reunions. There was potato salad, fried chicken, yummy desserts and homemade ice cream – all sitting in the hot sun, collecting bacteria of all sorts. There were also the relatives you didn’t know existed. Maybe some were visitors taking advantage of a free picnic. You were introduced to complete strangers and expected to instantly bond, because you were connected by blood.
What if your politics don’t match up? What if your interests are so far apart, there’s no hope of ever connecting with them? What if they were successful or what if they weren’t? What if you had different allegiances to a favored football team? Still there is that connection of BLOOD!
Family doesn’t only include the people we’re related to, but also those we share time with. Some of our relationships are even better than those established merely through blood.
Those we confide in,
Those we laugh with,
Those we emulate,
Those who make us feel good about ourselves,
Those we can trust and those who trust us,
Those who share our beliefs,
By the blood of Christ – precious blood, shed for the remission of our sins.
Our church family often becomes so much a part of us that they actually become a second family. That union comes from being part of a much greater body – The body of Christ.
We certainly can’t choose those in our family. We may have to put up with them just because they’re blood. Our genealogy and DNA may connect us physically, but the blood of Christ gathers us together as brothers and heirs of the Kingdom of God.
Give thanks for your family today, in spite of differences. Give thanks also for your friends in the faith, for they will continually build you up spiritually. Give thanks for the fellowship of the world – even when it seems to be on a path to destruction.
We’re all in this together.
Life can be tough at times, but when you’re part of God’s family, you know there’s a purpose for everything we face in life.
Give thanks unto the Lord,
For He is good,
And His mercy endures forever.