Families are fun, sometimes frustrating, yet very fulfilling. Together is a key word for families. Romans 8:28 is a verse often quoted to encourage during tough times. The words "work together for good" are a short seminar for how to make marriages and families function positively.
Adam and Eve started their family with Cain and Abel. They experienced the death of their son Abel and the loss of their son Cain as he departed, "from the presence of the Lord." Another son, Seth, was born and "men began to call on the name of the Lord." God is always a great resource in helping families. Worship together is important.
Imagine an equilateral or isosceles triangle. A husband and wife are at opposite points of the base, with God at the top. As each gets closer to God going up the sides of the triangle, they also get closer to each other. Relationships work better when each has a good relationship with God.
A family was mourning the loss of a sibling. One of them bought sets of eleven magnets, representing family members, and gave them out to the family. The message was, "We need to stick together." Great advice.
Noah moved his family aboard the ark. Abraham moved his family out of his homeland at God's command. The family of Israel, led by Moses, moved out of Egypt. Stick together and move forward together.
I recently saw a news article that reported two women, ages 41 and 66, tried to smuggle a corpse on a plane at Liverpool's John Lennon Airport. Their deceased relative, a 91 year old man, was in a wheelchair with sunglasses on. Perhaps their plan was intended to keep the family together, even in death. It proved to be inadequate.
God's plan is not going to fail. A passage in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 describes it. At Christ's coming, the dead in Christ will rise first, then those who are alive and remain will join them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. This heavenward journey is not short term, but "so shall we ever be with the Lord." The "whole family in heaven and earth" will gather with Jesus Christ (see Ephesians 3:14-15).
The festive holidays are a time to treasure family. Say what needs to be said to stick together and get along.
"I love you."
It will be worth it for the here and now, and if you follow the plan of Jesus, for all eternity.
Mitch Glover is pastor of the Sterling United Pentecostal Church located on Swanson River Road at Entrada. Services on Sunday include Bible classes for all ages at 10 a.m. and worship at 11 a.m. Thursday Bible study and children's church are at 7 p.m.
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