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Doug Creamer column: A family time

By Doug Creamer

Our family was hoping for some good weather for Easter. With a few cold nights before Easter, we weren’t sure the weather was going to cooperate. We wanted to get our family together, outside and socially distanced. God gave us a glorious day and the opportunity to see each other, which made for a wonderful Easter.

All the traditional Easter food was present. There was ham, salads, desserts and candy, too. While we remained spread out, you could hear the laughter and the conversations. It was so nice to relax and spend some time together. It was so nice to catch up with family, including nieces and nephews. I love hearing about what is going on in each of their lives and talking about their hopes and dreams. The big news was that one of my nieces is expecting her first child.

My family has been without small children for a number of years, so there have been no Easter egg hunts. This year, there were little children present. It was so much fun watching the children and their parents during the Easter egg hunt. There must have been 10 cameras vying to catch the magical moments.

After the children finished hunting and eating their treasures, it was announced that there would be an adult Easter egg hunt. I think it might have been more fun watching parents, grandparents and great-grandparents hunt for eggs. The competition was fierce. Inside the plastic eggs was candy and fake money. But the fake money could be turned in for prizes. I only found a few eggs, but I had enough money to buy some movie-theater-sized boxes of candy. I was thrilled with my prizes, as the competition for prizes was intense as well.

I was thinking that it wasn’t that many years ago that my nieces and nephews were the ones hunting for eggs. Now they are grownups. Some are in college, while others have gotten married and started families of their own. Some of them live far away. All of them are living interesting lives. All of them, all of us, are still connected as one big family. My family has remained close even though miles separate us.

Gathering together as a family is important. It helps to strengthen family bonds. I think all of us are hoping that things will get better soon so we can bring families back together on a regular basis, especially for holiday gatherings. We need each other. When you can’t get together, it reminds you how much you really want to be together.

I am very thankful for my biological family, but I am also thankful for my spiritual family. We are a part of a great church family. I love my church family, and it is nice to be gathering together even though we are at a reduced capacity. We need each other. We need to be together so we can encourage and pray for each other.

I think Easter reminds us that we are in the family of God. Some family members have wandered far away from their heavenly father, while others have chosen to stay close. God wants every member of the human race to come to his family gathering, but sadly, many have chosen to reject God and live their lives for themselves.

On Good Friday, Jesus made a way for every person to come back into the family. His shed blood offers the forgiveness from God and the open door for each person to come home. Some may feel unworthy or fear they will not be accepted. That is the wonderful miracle that God offers if we are willing to accept what Jesus has done for us. He makes a way home even though it seems impossible.

On Easter morning, we discover the impossible: Jesus rose from the dead. No other religion offers the hope of eternal life through a savior that died and rose again from the grave. He paid for everything wrong we have all done. All we have to do is accept this glorious gift from God. He opens the prison doors and invites us to join the family of God.

I want to encourage you to join the family of God. Jesus is preparing a place for you. If you will accept his free gift you will be welcomed to a huge family cookout. There will be so much laughter and long conversations. There will be unbridled joy because we will be all together, no masks, no social distancing, and no weary or sick bodies. I can’t wait to be a part of that celebration. Hey, you are invited, too. Come on…

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or doug@dougcreamer.com .

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