April 13, 2020 - Family
When I woke up this morning I realize how blessed I am to have such a supportive and loving family. The living and the deceased were on my mind. I believe family is one of the best and most precious gifts in life. Yesterday, Easter Sunday, was a very special day because of the resurrection and nothing could take the place or be more important. Additionally it was a day that we would normally spend time with family in person, but most of us were in contact via facetime, zoom, etc. What was of utmost importance was that you could reflect on how family loves you and care about you. You also think about how much you love family. One thing I can tell you about family is, "When everybody else disappoints, disappears and disapproves of you and let you down, family will always be there to undergird and encourage you. Why, because they love you unconditionally and know you better than anyone else. When you think about it, Resurrection Sunday is a day of love.
During this time of covid-19, I can confess that I appreciate family more than ever. I guess it is because you can't visit them, but you can be in contact and conversation. You can't have dinner with them, but you can talk about the good food you have for your meals. I admonish anyone who does not have a close relationship with family to put forth a concerted effort to get closer to each other. If we are believers and confess to be Christians, we cannot afford to have discord and unrest in our families.
If you refer to scripture, you get the feeling that Jesus' family was a little dysfunctional. Even when Jesus was on the cross sharing his last words, He did not ask a brother to take care of his grieving mother, He asked his dear friend John, the disciple he loved to take care of His mother, Mary. I wonder why? He said to her, "Woman, here is your son, and to this disciple, here is your mother. From that time on, this disciple took her into his home." John 19:26-27
Furthermore, it was difficult for Jesus' brothers to understand why Jesus drew such large crowds. "When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, He is out of his mind."( Mark 3:21) Sounds a little strange, doesn't it? Later we see in scripture that Jesus says, Let the little children come unto me, and do not forbid them, for of such is the kingdom of God." (Mark 10:22) What we do know is that not one of Jesus' brothers became a disciple during his pre-crucifixion ministry. But after his resurrection and ascension, they are there in the upper room worshipping him as God. Acts 1:14
Later 1 Timothy 5:8 says, "If anyone does not provide for his own and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."
Here is a bit of good news, Jesus loved us and his faith so much that He sacrificed himself so we could have eternal life with Him. "Husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her." Point being that we should love each other as Jesus has loved us.
While we have so much time together while on the Stay-At-Home mandate, get closer to family. Even if your children are home with you all day long and they get on your nerves, remember to spend time bonding and in quality conversations. Figure out ways to cope and establish better relationships with the entire family. I guarantee you that you will not regret.
Not a sermon, just a thought!
Robert Earl Slade