Adam Hamilton, author of Christianity’s Family Tree, likens our current group study and sermon series to the experience of a “family reunion,” spending time with branches of the family that have shaped us.
My cousins and I don’t look much like the clan that settled in Winters, TX, early last century. Five generations have married outside the family, new elements have been constantly introduced, and through geographic dispersion, different traditions and different expressions of McNeill-ism have emerged. Our California cousins — well — they don’t even sound like those of us who stayed in Texas.
The Christian family in all its diversity is not a thing of the past. We all have neighbors, colleagues and actual relatives connected to other traditions. We share so much, even with all our distinctiveness, that spending these weeks in “reunion” is an opportunity to appreciate the richness of the faith. While perhaps not achieving the Apostle’s hope expressed in Philippians 2:2 to “have the same mind,” we can certainly aspire to fulfill the next part of that verse by “having the same love.” For life is short, beloveds, as every family reunion reminds us.
No one from that original sibling group is still with us. That generation is gone. My mother, as an in-law, is the sole survivor of the next. That means it’s up to my generation to host again this summer, and most of us will show up. The picture will be different. For one thing, it probably won’t be photoshopped as heavily as this one is! For another, not all of us have lived even these eight years.
Is there someone in your family you might connect with today? Follow your intuition on this and “have love” as your aim. Come Sunday, come to worship and share love with your TUMC kin as we appreciate the gifts of the Roman Catholic Tradition. Here’s a gift for this very minute:
“Since many of you do not belong to the Catholic Church and others are nonbelievers, from the bottom of my heart I give this silent blessing to each and every one of you, respecting the conscience of each one of you but knowing that each one of you is a child of God.” —Pope Francis
I’ll see you at church this Sunday,