Family reunions and holidays brought the Cephas family together like never before. Maryland crabs and oysters were the foods of choice, and distant cousins became the best of friends for an entire day. The only thing that topped those moments were Sunday dinners.
Sunday was the day when everyone came together, and the stress of life took a break. We always looked forward to the food—a mix of southern soul and eastern shore seafood. Yet, more importantly, everyone benefited from our togetherness.
The generation that showed me what family meant has dwindled in size. Many of the siblings and cousins I grew up with in Ohio have moved away from each other. The Maryland family remains large, but even they don’t connect as much anymore. COVID is easy to blame for separation during the holidays, but it seems the importance of gathering and the meaning of family was lost long before the pandemic.
Admittedly, I tried to avoid the Cephas Christmas gatherings and our annual Cephas Day celebrations while we were busy raising our family in the DC area for almost seven years. But it felt like home each time I did attend. Those elders who remained always brought the family necessities. It was always the same for those occasional visits throughout the years. Their happiness always let us know how much we were missed.
23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. 24 Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
Pastor Calvin Sweeney said the family is a mixture of the ingredients that make a salad. Each part contributes to the flavor, but you don’t have a salad without the lettuce. And you don’t have a family without the “let us.” Let us is the essential ingredient in the pursuit of God’s community of family.
To be part of God’s family, you have to let us gather in worship. Let us encourage one another through difficult times. We need to know our family is there for us. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to love all people. Let us hope without wavering in the promises of God.
God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. But he makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
God’s family is there when our families aren’t available. We’re missed without knowing, so let us come together to experience the freedom gained through Christ’s love. What are you bringing to Sunday dinner?
Are you an active member of God’s family? How do you contribute to bringing others to God’s dinner table?
Start finding freedom by joining a Group for the summer semester.
Start building a relationship with God by attending weekend services.
Invite others to join you on your adventure.
God, let us all be more purposeful in creating family bonds with all of your children. Thank you for showing us what it means to be part of your family and the freedom of walking in faith. Let us never forget the ultimate sacrifice that offers everyone a seat at your table. Amen.
This post was written by Jaron Camp. Jaron is a storyteller and a professional ghostwriter who enjoys using his gifts to write for the LivingItOut. When he’s not developing fictional worlds, researching, and writing, Jaron enjoys watching sports, participating in family game night, and spending time with his wife and four kids.
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