I was touched by his joyous pride. It was just another one of those gas
station, convenience store, car wash places. He was behind the counter
earning a few extra bucks for his family. Displayed behind him, right
where everyone would see, was a picture of his 2½ month old son. I
asked him, Is that your boy? His face lit up and filled with love. I
knew his answer before the words of confirmation left his lips!
The Gospel begins with family. Lukes first three chapters are filled
with the story of Jesus large, extended family. The interwined faith
of two godly cousins, faithful women with faithful husbands, leads us to
the births of John the Baptist and Jesus. Luke lists a line of faith
for Jesus that goes back to David, then ultimately to God. According to
tradition and faith, Jesus is welcomed to his family, named, dedicated,
educated, and prepared for a ministry. Luke wants us to know that the
incubator for the Messiah was a family of faith.
One of the great images of the Gospels hope is the Lords return. The
faithful dead will be raised and united with the living faithful. They
will meet the Lord in the air. Together they will go to be with the
Lord forever. (See 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) This will be the greatest
family reunion of all timethe joyous merging of our physical family
and our family of faith. We will be joined together into a forever
family. The Gospel finds its beginning and culmination in family!
We find ourselves in the in between time. Our struggle is to build
families to of faith, character, hope, and love during this in between
time. This is where our faithfulness is proved. It is when our family
is built. It is what life is all about. At Heartlight, we are commited
to help families with the in between time. So over the next several
weeks, you will find additional resources on the family in a special
section entitled Building a Forever Family. We hope you will not only
read, but also react and contribute to the ongoing dialogue about
building families of faith.
Luke is right, the Gospel begins with family. Lets make sure our
family is part of that Gospel story! In the in between time, lets
make sure our family is valued. Recognize that each person in our
family circle is a gift from God. Value them for their unique qualities
and potential. Show our love for them in words and action. Reawaken
the loving pride for them like the new dad who put up a picture of his
new son. Strong, whole, holy, and forever families dont happen by
accident. Lets pray for God to show us how to build a FOREVER family!