With my eyes closed and my memory engaged, I can almost smell the Sunday dinner that my grandmother used to cook; fried chicken smothered in dark gravy, collard greens, sweet potatoes swimming in butter and Brown n’ Serve rolls. Not the traditional meal for our health conscience world today 😊. Nevertheless, this memory and many more are tucked away in my heart, ready for retrieval at a moment’s notice.
Though they passed away many years ago, I still miss my grandmother, Mama Carrie and my grandfather, Daddy Jeff. Tears and laughter are mingled as I think about them. They. Are. Family! From them were spawned three daughters, a son (who died at birth), 12 grandchildren and over 33 great grandchildren. I won’t attempt to count the great, great grandchildren.
In our family, cousins were more like brothers and sisters…more like aunts and uncles…friends. We spent countless hours together as a family. Birthday parties were the best. They would usually end in some type of dance off and Soul-Train line, (If you don't know what Soul Train is google it 😊), believe or not, I had some “moves” back in the day.
We celebrated many 4th of July’s… feasting, competing and even receiving family trophies and ribbons. We would have family costume parties on Halloween and even declare winners. I remember one year my Mom and her younger sister, Aunt Charline won, as they dressed up as Raggedy Ann and Andy. It was so much fun! But…there were hard times as well…deaths…misunderstandings…tragedies and pain but we have endured, worked through it and loved through it all. Why? We. Are. Family.
Did you know that as believers in Jesus Christ, we are part of a greater family? The Family of God. No matter your experience with your earthly family, whether positive or negative it is temporary, but your spiritual family is eternal.
God has called each of us to relate to our heavenly family through the expression of the local church. It is there that we know and are known, love and are loved. The New Testament is full of exhortations of how we are to treat each other as family. Pray for one another. Love one another. Comfort one another, just to name a few. In fact, Galatians 6:2 says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Later, in Galatians it also says,
“So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Why? Because We. Are. Family. You are not to travel this spiritual journey alone. God has provided family to go with you! How are you relating to them? In what ways are you connecting and living out life together? Let your spiritual family in…inside.
I know it can be scary, especially if you have experienced hurt in the past. But it is time to let the past be what...the past. It’s time to party, dance, share meals and do ministry TOGETHER. Yes, there will be…deaths…misunderstanding…tragedies and pain. But just like my earthly family, we must work through it and love through it all. Why? Because We. Are. Family!