Saturday, December 23, 2006

What is a Family?

The email read: “There will be no more posting on this list until January 2nd, so our members can spend time with their families.”

When I read the posting made to an email list I regularly receive, I immediately wanted to write the moderator back and say:

“But, some of us don’t have families. You are making a presumption that everyone who receives this has a family.”

I didn’t send the message, of course. I knew that the woman had made the statement without giving thought to the minority of us who are a family of one. (Unless bossy cats are counted as family!)

Before everyone starts feeling sorry for me, please don’t. I’m quite adjusted to the fact that I am an unmarried woman with no children who grew up an only child. Since my father passed away in December 1997, my immediate earthly family as been me. And, I do have an large extended family of cousins whom I love dearly. People I’d probably be spending at least part of the holiday with if we weren’t so scattered around the country.

Even before Dad passed away, I’d already forged my own way through the Christmas holidays, by creating my own traditions. For years I had other singles into my home on Christmas Eve. Even so, this time of year can sometimes rub even the most well-adjusted single the wrong way. Everything is so family oriented.

When I read the email I mentioned earlier, I momentarily lost sight of the one thing I’d realized years ago. I do have a family. A family that is bound tighter than any earthly family can ever be. The family of Christ! Earthly families aren’t perfect. Some are split because of disagreements, or different views on life. Many are dysfunctional.

As I sit here this morning looking at a little manger scene ornament a friend gave me the other night, I realize something anew. Joseph, Mary and Jesus made up a family of three when he was born two thousand years ago. Same as how my dad, mom and I made up a family of three when I came into the world. Even today, I’m still a part of my parents. Their DNA fills my cells and will until I die. But, Jesus gives me something even better—His blood shed on my behalf in payment for my sins. That blood won’t die when my body does. In fact, at that very moment, I’ll begin the life He died to give me. Eternal life with Him in the family of God!

That's me on the right at about five years old. Just wanted to share the picture.

I wish all of you who read this a very Merry Christmas and the best of New Years.

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