Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "I Will Sing The Wondrous Story"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 100:1-3,5 – Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of His pasture. For the Lord is good and His love endures for ever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. (NIV)
Once again, a family reunion was arranged, and many of the family journeyed hundreds of kilometres to be together. From the beginning, there was excitement, anticipation, and joyful preparations for the event. The destination property looked like a campground with tents and camper trailers.
The journey had been safe and many landmarks were observed: distant mountains, bridges crossing rivers, sleeping villages, woods beside the highway, and history all around. A two-year-old got very excited seeing wind turbines, shouting, "Look, look!" After hours on the road, also was heard, "Are we there yet?"
The long weekend was a successful encounter with all participants. There were nature walks, campfires, and sauna and hot-tub visits, along with good eating, and waking up in the morning for more. It was all fun, as well as a bonding time among 2- to 63-year-olds.
The downside was that I was left behind to recuperate from a recent lung infection, missing my family and seeing and watching and listening to the family humour and laughter around me. They were in my thoughts and prayers. It was delightful to hear a twelve-year-old tell me that I was missed at the family reunion. He said that I am the head of the family. It brought tears to my eyes.
Just as we have received an invitation to a family reunion here on earth, so we have a standing invitation to attend the eternal reunion of God's family in heaven. Turning to God is the key to taking our place in the family of God. To toss out such an invitation spells eternal separation from God. Jesus is the answer, and when we have Jesus, we have it all.
As I missed my family reunion, I ended up thinking how God, the head of His family, will miss many at the family reunion of all times. For a God-fearing mother, the issue of how the family turns out once they've left home to try their own wings can be a load to carry. All we can do is to pray and speak the blessing of God upon them.
As we journey through life, there are landmarks that keep us mindful of each other: anxious times finishing academic schooling, finding a job, births, marriages, the death of loved ones, health issues, and other challenges. The Bible is our map and compass showing us how to stay on the path of righteousness. It also shares the good news of the joy of forgiveness. So we should observe these spiritual signs showing us how to find our way to God, with a resounding "Are we there yet?"
My soul is filled with a triumphant song of praise and gratitude as I listen to the reports of a safe and perfect family reunion. How much more triumphant will be our arriving at the heavenly family reunion because of God's love through Christ Jesus, our Lord and Redeemer!
Prayer: Lord God, thank You for all family reunions down here on earth and finally in Your heaven. Grant that none will be left behind but that all may be found triumphantly in eternal life. We celebrate joyfully in Jesus' name! Amen!