Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:3-6
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Romans 8:16-17
I just came back from a Family Reunion at Niobrara State Park with my Dad’s side of the family. These reunions started back in 1937 when my Grandfather said he wanted his kids to know their Aunts, Uncles and cousins. It started off with just one Sunday in August meeting in the cemetery for lunch. As family started to move and live farther apart it became a Saturday and Sunday and was a meeting in a park. As the families grew and began living farther apart, their activities with school and fairs, it got moved to June and sometime along that it extended into Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Those traveling from far distances needed more time and it was Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. As those leaving to travel the distances everyone would get together at a restaurant and meet for breakfast before taking off to head home on Monday morning. This year 50 attended out of over 100, some stayed in cabins, some in RVs, some at motels, but each day we would gather and talk of new things in our lives, new adventures, updating on current events in our lives. But also there were adventures where a smaller group would go off to an activity; such as swimming, neighborhood garage sales, horseback riding (got cancelled due to rain), fishing, biking, etc. Then we always take our meals together. The younger kids get to know their extended family. The ages range from the oldest in their 80’s, youngest this year was 3.
Our Sunday is always started with breakfast, then a church service by the host family. The church service is a time for us to give thanks to God for our family, to pray for those that could not attend, those having health concerns, those expecting new family members and other concerns. We remember those family members who have passed. We sing (not always in tune), but songs to extend our love for God. We are of all different denominations, yet we share our love for God and rejoice in the many gifts we have been given. It is a time of renewal, relaxation, fun and emotional support until the next year.
Prayer: Dear Father, thank you for family. Prayers for those that are unfortunate not to have family in their lives; may they find friends that are as close to them as family. Prayers for those missing their family members who have passed on and help them find comfort in their loss. Prayers for the ability to take the time with those we love. May we remember to always take the time to praise you and thank you for all we have.