THE FAMILY REUNION
As a child growing up with my family in central Indiana, the one thing I looked forward to as much as anything else was the annual family reunion. Extended family would come from all the places they were scattered to one little spot in Kentucky . For that one weekend, ( some would stay longer) we would all come together and visit and play and tell and hear stories, and eat . . . and eat . . . and eat . . . there was so much food and it was all so good. Some of the family members were locals who would see one another on a regular basis, some everyday. Others we had not seen since the last Reunion and were from farther away – California, Florida, The Philippines – and for that one weekend we were all back together in one place . . . remembering . . . and making new memories. A time to remember ‘who you are and from where you have come’, my Dad would say.
The first thing we would do upon arrival would be to unpack the station wagon, take all the food into our Grandmother’s kitchen, unload the suitcases and get settled in for the visit. But once we had hurried the food into the kitchen, and before anything else was unloaded, we would run to see Mamaw. She didn’t get around very well, so she had her big chair in one spot in the living room, and we would make a bee-line to Mamaw’s chair to give and receive hugs and kisses. And then she would utter these words almost verbatim every year -“ come here and let Mamaw look at you . . . you look just like your daddy ( or mom) ; now you babies go on outside and play and we’ll call you in for supper.” As I sit here and write those words, memories rush back and I so miss those days.
But the time is soon coming for another ‘Reunion’; a reunion like no other; the Reunion of all Reunions. For the Bible says God will gather His people from all the places to which they have scattered, from the four corners of His creation. And He will bring them back to one little spot – their home – for a Reunion that never ends. This year, October 8-9 begins the Week of Tabernacles – a weeklong memorial celebration pointing towards that ultimate Family Reunion, a time when God’s family comes together to remember and make new memories . . . and look toward that final ingathering.
Zechariah 14 speaks of a challenging time to come when the Lord will return and set His feet on the Mount of Olives and begin the process of preparing His Land and the hometown of His people – all His people – for this Reunion of Reunions. The time of this return? The time of Feast of Tabernacles.
No, we are not saying ‘Jesus is coming back this year at this Tabernacles’. But we are saying when those dates and that week rolls around on your calendar, stop and remember. Remember, as a member of God’s family, remember who you are, from where you have come, looking forward to what is ahead. And may someone be able to look at us and say – ‘you look just like your Daddy’. ( Romans 8:15 – “ . . . for we have received the spirit of adoption by which we cry ‘Abba ( Daddy) , Father’. Shalom –