“Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.”
Take a Moment to Ponder
I am from a large family. There are nine of us as siblings. We were privileged to have both parents present and active in the home. A family is the foundation of any nation and though it comes under tremendous stress it still remains a vital part of the national life. According to Dictionary.Com the family is a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household. It is also the descendants of a common ancestor. The book of Revelation, while not using the word family in chapter 21, speaks of family in the second sense. All the children gathered into God’s peaceful and peaceable Kingdom are of one ancestor (God). Yet, the first definition of family must be understood as part of the second. The household is one of the words used in the Old Testament to describe the family (Gen. 18:19). A household is both for a group as well as parents and children. In God’s family/household every person is a very important or valuable member.
The Church is an example of God’s family. In most families there are dysfunctions, and in some instances emotional and physical abuse. God’s promise of victory in Rev 21 is a reminder that the global family, as well as individual families, will triumph over all adversities. The family is the foundation of any nation. Stable families build healthy communities which in turn build healthy societies and healthy nations. Respect for the family as a divine human institution will enable descendants of the human race to live together because we belong together as God’s children. The Church is called by God to model the life of a healthy family. As a proud child of my parents, and with lots of love for my siblings, I am happy to be part of a family and a Church that nurtured me and made me the person I am today. I affirm the extremely valuable place of the family in personal and social development. Despite being dispersed all over the world my siblings and I look forward to our family reunion each year when we meet as a family to share fun, food and fellowship. Such a fellowship is the dream of the writer of the Book of Revelation. The anticipation is a family fellowship with God as head of the household.
Say a prayer for your family. Give God thanks for your family. Do you know a family going through crisis? Start by saying a prayer for victory over the crisis. Keep in mind that, as the Chinese proverbs says, “every crisis is an opportunity.” Use this time of prayer and reflection as an opportunity to determine specific steps you can take to help a family in crisis. For example, in a few weeks children will return to school. Take the time to help a family with children returning to school. Ask your Church/congregation to donate books (including notebooks) to children. They are God’s children and are also members of our family.
A Moment of Prayer
God of all the families of the world, through Abraham and Sarah you created the family of Israel. Through Mary and Joseph you created the Holy Family in which our Saviour was nurtured and sustained in his earthly journey in flesh. Bless all the families of the world and especially families in the Caribbean. Ours is a checkered history of family life yet out of it you have created families with the potential to continue building healthy families in the region. Give us wisdom and courage to keep alive the focus on the family as a divine human institution called and commissioned by you to be the foundation of this and every nation. We ask these things through Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit; one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Contributed by: Canon Garth Minott