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Imagine what it was like in Jesus’ family

On Saturday night, we had a family gathering here in town. My dad likes to get the family together to celebrate birthdays. This year we missed my birthday and my sister’s birthday because we all have such busy calendars. About a month ago we all compared calendars and picked last Saturday night to celebrate my sister’s and my birthdays.
It’s great to get us all together and to share what is happening in each family. We’ve all had our vacations so there was plenty of share about our individual trips. Putting a bunch of people in a house for a family vacation can make for some interesting stories. It is also interesting to hear about each of the nieces and nephews and what they are doing. As they get married and spread out, the family grows bigger and bigger.
We spent nearly three hours together laughing, sharing, picking on one another, and talking about the future. The time together ended so quickly, and then we all headed back to our busy lives to create new stories to share the next time we get to spend some time together.
Time is moving quickly. I am not just an uncle to my nieces and nephews, but I am now a great-uncle. I am getting older and the realization hits that we all won’t live forever, nor will we have the opportunity to always join together as a family to share such moments. I seem to be treasuring these moments more and more each time I get together with family and good friends. We don’t know what the future holds, so I want to remember everything I can about these moments, to preserve them, to keep the memories safe.
I wonder what it was like in Jesus’ family. We know that Jesus was the oldest and that he had brothers and sisters. There had to be some teasing, joking, laughing and, naturally, some tears, as they grew up. They sat around a table and listened to their dad tell stories. I wonder if Joseph quizzed his kids as my dad did when I was growing up. Do you think that Joseph told Bible stories to his kids?
The Bible doesn’t say it, but most scholars believe that Joseph passed away before Jesus began his ministry. So His family would have struggled through loss, sorrow and pain. I wonder if Jesus got any time off from his three years of ministry to go home and spend some time with his mother and his siblings. Can you imagine the discussion around the table if such a family gathering occurred? “So, Jesus, what have you been up to lately?”
Do you think there was a family intervention after John the Baptist was murdered? I can easily imagine Jesus’ brothers trying to convince him to get out the spotlight and to be careful of the Roman government. His family would certainly have been filled with love and concern for his health and welfare. They would have warned Jesus of the Roman government’s brutality and begged him to lead a quiet and secluded life.
I know, because I work with the public, that not all families are perfect. In fact, some families are messed up. That makes me so thankful for my family. We are there for each other no matter what. We love, support, and encourage each other as we walk through the ups and downs of life.
For those of you who aren’t fortunate to have great families, I want to encourage you to find the family you need in the family of God. I have some friends who are in some ways just as close to me as my family. Connecting with your brothers and sisters in Christ can be the support network you need to make it through your ups and downs. It’s also important that you can be there for others as they go through the rollercoaster of life. We need each other.
It’s important for us to belong, to be connected to family. If you are fortunate as I am to have a good family, cherish them. If your family is disjointed then make the effort to connect with the family of God. There are people in a local church who will love and care for you. It will require an effort on your part; the people won’t be perfect, but what family is? The truth is, even if you have a good family, you need to be connected to the family of God where you can be encouraged and challenged to have a closer walk with God. Family, what a blessing.

Doug Creamer teaches Marketing at East Davidson High School. His website is located at www.dougcreamer.com Contact him at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or email doug@dougcreamer.com

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