It's been a busy weekend, it seems. The Senior Pastor left on Thursday for vacation, so I am holding down the fort right now. This isn't usually the busiest time of the year, but it seemed busy anyway, with July 4th activities and sermon-writing and learning, a ball game last night, and a sort-of mini family reunion today of some of my father's relatives. One of my cousins, who moved out to Massachusetts many years ago, e-mailed my brother and said he was going to be in town this weekend, driving in with his seven children, who range in age from 26 to 3. So we invited my dad's two sisters and their families, and had a little open house in the afternoon for whoever could come.
My dad is the "baby" of his family. That's what his sisters always said, whenever we got together. So everyone was there with a walker, and a few of my cousins were able to make it too. Sadly, even though most of us live in the same city (except for the one from Massachusetts), we don't get together very often. We reminisced about the times we got together on Sunday nights to watch Disney and eat grocery bags full of popcorn. I remembered the hand-me-downs I got from one of my cousins, the sleepovers at grandma and grandpa's house, the chaotic Christmases when we were all young.
My cousin is the same age as I am. But his father was an Evangelical pastor, and we didn't get together very often. I remember a few summer get-togethers, my uncle sitting on the back steps, playing the acccordian (he is a gifted musician), or at picnics. The picture above is one the the few of me with my cousin, when we were both small.
Even when I neglect them, I discover that the family connections are still there. It's the 21st century, and before leaving, we exchanged email addresses. Perhaps we'll keep in better contact from now on. We'll see.
I suspect that the same thing is true in our faith family: we neglect these most important connections, with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and for so many different reasons. But still we are connected, though not even suspecting the faces, the gifts, the relationships we miss. We're connected by the bread and the wine that we share, by music and food and prayers -- and so many other things. And still we let the days tumble by, when family reunions are happening all the time, with our unknown relatives.