by Delores Carr
Late in October, my daughter e-mailed me and said, “Remember you mentioned a while back that your father’s side of the family never gets together since your grandmother passed away? How would you like to do a family reunion the Saturday after Thanksgiving at your house? I will help you.”
So, invitations went out; and simple cook-ahead food like meatballs, homemade soup, and slaw was planned. Family members were asked to contribute finger foods or a dessert. My cousin, who lives about two hours away, contacted all his kids and grandkids, and then let me know he was bringing thirteen. Some I had never met. My uncle, his father and my late father’s brother, planned to come with him. I was so excited!
Altogether, thirty-one people—five generations from ages 91 to 2 months--gathered in our home that evening. Our home is not large, but it was fun being all together in a tight space. We had a great time catching up and becoming acquainted with younger ones and new in-laws. It was a blessing. My uncle, my cousins, and I reminisced of Christmases long past when the family gathered on the Sunday before Christmas in my great-grandmother’s three-room log cabin on her farm in the Ozark hills.
It is too bad that we do not keep family closer when we could but just don’t. I encourage you to make the effort to make and keep the connections. While you are thinking in this vein, consider those who may not have any family or whose family live far away. Who of them can you include in activities or Christmas dinner? Perhaps they would enjoy going to your local Christmas parade with you and then to your home for hot chocolate. Or, maybe a neighbor would love to accompany you to your church’s Christmas services or music programs. It may be a great opportunity for them to hear the story of God’s redemption plan for the first time and find that redemption for themselves.
We are encouraged in Romans 12:13: Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Hospitality is also encouraged in 1 Timothy 3:2, Titus 1:8, and 1 Peter 4:9. I think you will find yourself blessed.
Delores and her husband, David, have a long and rich history of ministry. From youth pastor to senior pastor, from church planter to teaching in AG Bible colleges, they have covered this nation from coast to coast. Delores has been director and teacher in pre-school programs, filled the pulpit from time-to-time, and a speaker to women's groups. She loves music and writing, and hopes to one day write a book about her family history in the Ozarks.