Family Time

Family times remind us of our brokenness.  At least they do for me.  This past week our family slipped out of town for some down time.  It sounds easy enough, but we did our best to stumble over ourselves and each other in our attempts to make it happen.  Why are family times often ones of stress and struggle?  To this day, I can only enjoy my parents for short snatches of time.  I’ve also noticed that they limit their visits with us to just a few days.  None of us seem capable of laying aside heaped-up expectations and disappointments that have littered our years together.  The waters run deep and much of our pain from the past remains unspoken and unprocessed.  The good news in all this is that we are not alone.  From the first family and its culture of competition and conflict to the present, each family bears the marks of the presence of sin.  This makes the message of Christmas that we celebrate all the more beautiful and hopeful.  Zechariah was told by the angel Gabriel,

Many of the people of Israel will he [your son] bring back to the Lord their God. And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

What good news this must have been! Fathers and sons can have their relationships restored.  The coming of the messiah will be put in motion by the work of your son.  He will have a part in opening the way for families to be healed.  I remember some years ago I opened up with my father about things that had long bothered me.  I wasn’t carrying anger, but I did feel deep resentment.  We were out for a round of golf, and I opened up to him while we were coming back in the car.   At one point, the clarity of the our conversation reached a peak, he pulled off the road and simply began to cry.  He expressed his sorrow, and then he opened up with me as well.  What I felt I could see so clearly proved far more complex than I had accounted for.  When my father finally resumed driving our honesty had opened new doors and windows for our relationship.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Sandy on July 18, 2016 at 11:21 pm

    May we yearn to follow and worship the far bigger and more dangerous Jesus.


  2. Posted by Sandy on July 18, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    Oops. Somehow my comment for Dec. 17 got posted under this date. Oh well :-/.


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