Sunday, February 11, 2018

Family Full

It's late on a Saturday evening as I begin this little post, just before midnight on February 10. Toni and I have been busy with family for the last 24+ hours. We celebrated her birthday with her parents and our children and grandchildren last night, then today her parents were here for much of the morning, joined by one of our sons and his wife and children. We had supper with them before they left. Now it's just the two of us upstairs, and our renter and her daughter down.

Much of my time when I'm not at work gets taken up with family stuff. I guess that's pretty normal, and, in many ways, it's part of God's plan. Science and scripture affirm the good plan of God--the plan that one man and one woman would be bound together to beget and bear and raise children. Our daily lives were focused on family especially when our children were young. Then there was an easing of those responsibilities as Naomi, Daniel and Jonathan moved our of our family home and didn't need us every day. Now the focus is back on family -- especially in connection with our very young children and our aging parents.

My dad's sister, who is very strong and independent, called me recently and said she had been going through old family pictures, and that she was choosing what to keep and what to throw away. I went to her condo last weekend and retrieved pictures from my dad's side of the family -- pictures of my grandparents, great grandparents and great great grandparents. That got me interested in my family tree, so, after consulting with a second or third cousin who has done a lot of genealogical research, I went online and started to build my family tree, getting information from that cousin and others. It didn't take long to build what you see below (deliberately modified to protect some identities). My subscription to lasts 6 months. I'll invite other family members to add if they want to.

The fascinating and difficult piece of that is the way that Jesus explodes our purely earthly ideas of "kinship." Though scripture affirms and supports biological family relationships in the Bible, warning us that we should not neglect or family responsibilities, Jesus teaches us, by his words and examples, that our real family isn't bound by blood or DNA. Jesus sacrifice on the cross connects us with every one on earth. That's huge.

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