Recently I visited in the hospital with an older man while his wife was having a medical procedure. I didn’t know them well so asked, “Do you have any family around here?” He replied, “Well, I have a sister but they’re not in town right now. My wife is the last of her siblings and we never had children. So, the church people and our friends are our family.”

As I was driving home I remembered that last year when we vacationed in Lake Tahoe and celebrated a milestone birthday for Art, lots of our family and extended family were with us. This year our group was smaller–a few family members and a few people who are family-by-marriage. All of those people, last year and this, are important to our lives, connecting us to history, love now and hope for the future.

Who and what is family? In the Bible, there are a variety of configurations and notions of family in both the Old and New Testaments. We talk about our church as a family. What does that mean? This Sunday, August 11, we continue our series on Relating to Others in Good Ways we’ll talk about Families. I’ll share some thoughts about what that means in the Bible and today.

Here’s one thought. From many years in ministry my observation is that even if a person’s family of origin is deeply fractured, that person can find healing and direction for life if there is one person or a small group of people who provide him or her with safety, care and acceptance. Family doesn’t have to be big, only Christ-like.

A prayer:  Loving God, as we see and hear of violence and harm done by people to others, we pray again for healing for those who do such deeds and all those who suffer. May we be family in the ways you desire, hardly ever perfect but seeking to love one another as you have loved us. Amen.

Blessings, Sharon

This Sunday, August 11, is Rally Day!  New classes begin for children and adults. Visit Fellowship Hall after worship to see all the opportunities for adults to learn and grow.