Pastoral thoughts from a United Methodist in Western Kentucky (USA)
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Family Reunions and the Family of God
Family is the first social unit for developing the qualities of the heart. A true family grows and moves through life together, inseparable in the heart. Whether a biological family or an extended family of people attracted to each other based on heart resonance and mutual support, the word "family" implies warmth, a place where the core feelings of the heart are nurtured. Family values represent the core values and guidelines that parents and family members hold in high regard for the well-being of the family. Sincere family feelings are core heart feelings. They are the basis for true family values. While we have differences, we remain "family" by virtue of our heart connection. Family provides necessary security and support, and acts as a buffer against external problems. A family made up of secure people generates a magnetic power that can get things done. They are the hope for real security in a stressful world. - Doc Childre and Howard Martin, The HeartMath Solution
Our annual conference policy says that with my number of years of service I’m entitled to three weeks vacation plus professional development and continuing ed. time off. I’ve never been able to see how to practically work all that in.
But one thing I am realizing more and more – spending time with family is not just vacation time; it’s blessed time. Everything said in both Testaments points toward the fact that the way we view and live out our family life has a direct impact and witness on how we live out our faith.
What haunts me is this question: is my witness of time spent with my family a good one? If it haunts me… I suspect it haunts many. If we’re too busy for what God and others have considered to be primary and formative in our lives, it may be that our faith and the life of the Church will suffer.
I’m at the McCracken family reunion today – in Bourbon County, Kansas - and going to try to place faith in practice. The last reunion I went to was when I was just a tiny boy. My cousin Mark was in the Navy. Now I’m 41, and Mark is 60. His sister just had bypass surgery. How have we let all this time get away from us?
Perhaps we should all challenge each other about spending more time with family, and by doing so create a better family of God in the Body of Christ. By His blood, we are all made brothers and sisters.