We had an extraordinary day at our place this Sunday. We gathered families from our church and school communities to give thanks to God for his gift of our families.
Here’s what was said… Family Foundations Matthew 7: 24-28 The Wise and Foolish Builders
24″Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” 28When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching….
Friends, we are encouraging everyone to give thanks to God for all families today because family is a foundation for our life – a foundation given by God.
God is into family. All human beings are in families – these days, all kinds of families – blended, single parent and everything in between: but nevertheless, family!
Now of course, family is not always easy. George Burns, the American comedian once said, “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city”. We might say from time-to-time, “Family: can’t live with them, can’t live without them”!
But our very life is family. From our parents, grand-parents, relatives, husband, wife, partner, comes part of our identity, our sense of well-being, our role as God’s givers of life to children. And that is how God always intended us to be – in families.
Our family shows us who we are. Without them we feel cut loose, alone, unsure. Gail Lumet Buckley, the Black American journalist and author said, “Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present and future. We make discoveries about ourselves”.
Families are under pressure though. For some strange reason, we know our family is our very life, and yet we are capable of making all kinds of decisions to damage or diminish our families. Chasing the almighty dollar seems to be a big one these days. Accumulating more then we need at the cost of time together, at the cost of our relationship with our partner and the kids happens a bit.
Funny how we can spend so much time and energy storing things up (and telling ourselves – “It’s for the kids”) and miss relating to, teaching our kids, and just being with each other now.
But Jesus speaks into our families today and says that there is a wise way to be the best parents and kids – and family we can be.
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his family on the rock. (Matthew 7:24)
So, building our marriages, kids and wider family is best done with the words of Jesus ringing in our hearts everyday: words about God being a Father to us and we being his children in his human family.
Words about baptism being the great gift of being adopted by God as his very own dearly loved child and the moment when we are given a seat at his family table to share his victory over all that destroys and diminishes our family and ourselves.
Words like, “Come to me, busy Mum and Dad, and I will give you rest”.
Words like, “I have come to serve you as you constantly serve your partner and your kids – I have come not to put you down, or judge you harshly, but give you life and power and faith to build your life and your family on my wisdom and strength”.
Friends, let the words of Jesus be your rock so that you can be a rock for you r partner and your kids.
If faith is difficult for you – no need to worry, faith as big as a tiny little speck of a mustard seed is enough and faith comes from simply hearing this word of Jesus and taking it into your heart. He will do the rest.
Let’s build our families strong, resilient, free from fear, wisely.
Let’s live for now, and let the future worry about itself. God knows our names. He knows our issues.
He knows our present and our dreams and promises that as we do all we can to live at peace as parents and children, he will give long and prosperous life for now and the future.