Some wonder why our family is so different. They have watched us hug as we greet each other and as we say our long good-byes. Some may have wondered why we go through the effort to gather together at times like the ones I’ve mentioned. It’s at these times when we offer support just by being present and available to be used by God. We have been separated by distance for now, but a few times a year, we choose to gather and affirm our love- even if it’s only for a little while. We love worshipping together, encouraging one another, celebrating, and laughing with each other until our sides hurt. Holding each other close matters to us, because we know that we are not promised tomorrow and we want to make the most of today- without regrets. We cling to this small glimpse of what heaven may be like, when we will be together- forever.
What kind of a world would this be, if love knit us all together in this same way? What would it look like? How would this unique, sacrificial, and consistent love change us and those around us? I believe our world would look so different. Our families would be closer. Our friendships would last. Our churches would feel warmer. Our countries would reflect what truly matters in this life and make a lasting difference. It begins with us. It begins with me. May I continue to become a vessel of God’s love and grace without being bound by hindrance, bitterness, fear, or insecurity. May I make the most of every moment by erring on the side of loving those around me generously and being grateful for them, even if it makes me look like a fool. It’s this kind of love that will melt the hardest of hearts, warm the coldest of spirits, and become a salve of healing. Family by blood, or family by choice- for me, there isn’t a difference. Whether we are near or apart, we are presented an opportunity daily to show those in our world that God’s people love each other unconditionally and that family matters.
“How wonderful, how beautiful, when brothers and sisters get along! It’s like costly anointing oil flowing down head and beard, Flowing down Aaron’s beard, flowing down the collar of his priestly robes. It’s like the dew on Mount Hermon flowing down the slopes of Zion. Yes, that’s where God commands the blessing, ordains eternal life.” Psalm 133:1-3 (The Message)
“Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sin. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. I John 4:7-12 (NLT)