Today’s Reading: Acts 1:13-14 (NIV)
13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James.
One of the most difficult transitions a family makes is when grown children leave home for the very first time. Our daughter Rachel lived at home and commuted back and forth to college, but we rarely saw her, as her clinical training required she stay overnight at hospitals for 24 hour shifts in various parts of the state. Every now and then, she would come home to sleep, do a little laundry and maybe eat breakfast with us leaving us again. Rachel bought a house and moved out as soon as she landed her first full-time job, two and half hours away from home. That spring, we were preparing to relocate to a new church, and we were moving another two hours away from her. I remember that awful sense that I had somehow left of piece of myself behind in that house. She knew where she could find us if she needed anything at all; yet, Rachel was making a new life for herself. Letting go is not an easy thing in this mother's heart.
The boys ended up moving in and out a couple of times before they eventually took wing and flew the coop for good. Their transitions into independence were not smooth. When our youngest son David moved out, the house became almost too quiet. It was quite an adjustment from a few short years ago, when the stability of the parsonage roof was tested with Saturday band practices in the basement, soccer games in the back yard, and the ritual pizza deliveries to the front door. I’ve embraced the quiet of our empty nest, and enjoy visiting my children and their families in their homes. It is good to know they have made their way and have found happiness in the fullness of their lives.
It is an important thing for families to come home and gather together often to celebrate holy days and remember their youth. We tend to lose touch with each other in the rigors of daily living. It is a real challenge to have all of our children, grandchildren and extended family together even at Christmas. Quite often, we all get together, but we’re so exhausted that even though we’re physically present, it is hard to reconnect because we’re emotionally drained. Holiday preparations brings us to the place where we need to be, only to find ourselves falling asleep on the comfy sofa after consuming Christmas dinner, or retiring to a spare bedroom for a late afternoon nap. It isn’t enough to be physically present if our minds are somewhere else.
It was crucial for the family of Christ to arrive together, in one place. So important, in fact, that the author took time to identify every person present by name. This is why the family of Christ gathers together each week to worship, learn and enjoy fellowship. Everyone is important to the body as a whole. We share in the joy of knowing that one day, we will all go home together to live forever in the everlasting light of Jesus.
Learn to make family time a priority. Be present, physically, emotionally and spiritually. There is nothing more important than engaging in weekly worship with the body of Christ. We need you here, and when you are not with us, our faith family is simply not the same. Come home this weekend. You have a place waiting especially for you at Faith Church.
Grace and peace,
Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO
© Copyright 2009, Deb Spaulding
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