Posted by: glorifyhim1 | September 20, 2010

A Heavenly Family Reunion

This past Saturday my husband and I, along with our two daughters, attended my husband’s family’s annual reunion. I can actually remember when his family first started this tradition around 25 or so years ago. At that first reunion, it was like a big family picnic with his Mom and Dad, all his brothers, his sister, and of course, spouses and kids. The venue has changed over the years from homes to lakes to church picnic pavilions. The menu has changed back and forth from hamburgers and hot dogs to covered dishes to home cooked and smoked barbecue. Even those in attendance have changed over the years. Single brothers have taken wives. A plethora of kids have been born. And even grandkids and one great grandchild have married and welcomed new babies.

There have also been some undesired changes. Just as we’ve added new faces to our yearly gathering, we have also lost some. Both of my husband’s parents are no longer with us. Similarly, many of our children and grandchildren are all grown up now. Some live away and cannot always make the trip home. Likewise, as children still at home get older, they become involved with other activities and commitments that sometimes prevent them from attending the annual gathering.

I have also noticed some changes in my attitude regarding this reunion. When our kids were small, it was just another activity we did every summer. Sure it was nice getting together with all the family, but we saw one another fairly regularly anyway. As our kids got older, it became something of a juggling act trying to work their ballgames or other activities around the scheduled date. Sometimes it was a struggle to pull it all off. But now things are different. With Mom and Dad gone, we don’t gather on Sunday afternoons like we used to so we don’t get to see each other as much as we would like. Likewise, a lot of the kids and grandkids have moved away so we don’t see them regularly either. While I used to think about the annual reunion as just another summer activity, I now realize how precious it has become.

As I thought about this after our reunion Saturday, I was reminded of the incredible importance of families. Proverbs 68:6a reminds us: “God sets the solitary in families.” The family was planned and designed by God. It is the primary place where we grow, learn, and develop life skills as we interact with one another. But I also thought of another family – a heavenly family. Every believer not only has a family heritage here on earth, but he or she is also a member of God’s family with a citizenship in heaven. “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.” (Philippians 3:20-21)

When we accept Christ’s atoning work for us on the cross, we are born into this heavenly family. Romans 8:15-17 declares: “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father’. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” Because we have been adopted into God’s family, we can confidently look forward to our inheritance in heaven.

Can you imagine what kind of family reunion we will have when we all get to heaven? As sweet as family reunions are here on earth, they can only be a shadow of what we will experience there. Imagine being reunited with loved ones and brothers and sisters in Christ who have gone before us. And imagine seeing Jesus face to face – the one who paid the way for us to be there by dying on the cross in our place. I really can’t imagine. It is far beyond anything I can even think or dream. But oh how my heart rejoices to think of that day.

But just like family reunions here on earth, I want everyone to be there. I don’t want anyone to miss that great reunion day. I guess the question I need to ask myself is how much does this realization affect my attitude. Does it make me want to tell others about Jesus? Does it make me want to be more obedient and faithful to my Savior? Just as Jesus stated in John 9:4: “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work,” I, too, must be about my Father’s business while there is still time. Let us pray that when Jesus returns He will find us being faithful in whatever way He has called us to serve Him. “Who then is a faithful and wise servant, ……. Blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find so doing.” (Matthew 24:45-46)

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