Sunday, 8 December 2013

Christmas Family Reunions



Family Reunions

Family reunions are an intergenerational, extended family event with a singular focus from which complex social emotional tasks are performed. 
Under pinning family reunions is the belief that extended family members should and want to remain connected.  That gathering together for a meal and conversation at predetermined times of the year will accomplish this. 

 Genesis 45:1


Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.



One of the tasks is to renew our relationships and like Joseph to make ourselves known.  The degree to which we will self-disclose is predicated on the strength of our relationship with the family and the level of trust we have in individual members and the unit as a whole.

To not attend a family reunion also sends a message about yourself and your attitude towards the family unit.  At a reunion cousins and siblings start by providing updates on their lives and the conversation quickly moves to those who are not present.  In the absence of a reason that makes sense the family is left only to assume it is not valued.




There is an undercurrent of fear that is associated with those who are absent – that all too soon the family network will cease to be.  That this particular line of human history and support will fail its members

 Revelation 7: 2-3

And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
 
Family reunions are also a time when the absence of those who have passed from this world is felt anew.  As we look around the room we notice the absence of their faces and that their voices have gone silent.
In that same moment we are aware that everyone has grown older and you wonder how long before we/they are gone. 


And again the undercurrent of fear runs through the family.

1 John 3: 1-3

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.  2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.


Family reunions are a time where we renew our common heritage, culture and family narratives.  We renew our spiritual covenant with each other and with our God.


We do this out of duty, love and a desire to join a larger family reunion someday – a reunion that will last an eternity, where we will be know as God's children.



Grandma Snyder

Scripture versus were taken from http://www.biblegateway.com
 

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