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Family is important

Do you feel that your family is important to you?

Last week, I had an opportunity to go and be a part of my family cookout. We usually have a huge cookout, inviting a lot of friends around the community. Because of the pandemic, we had to back off having a large gathering. I really didn’t want to go even with the small group, because of the pandemic that is taking so many lives. But let me tell you, when I got around my family, it made me feel good. It brings me back to remembrance of who I am and my history. It allows me to be me without all of the trimmings and the titles that we all sometimes hold. It blessed me to be able to sit on my sister’s couch.

In Genesis 35, there is an account found of Esau and Jacob, who were twins, but they were totally different. One liked working around their mom in the house, while the other liked being out in the woods with their father. One day, something happened that changed their life in how they treated each other. When this happened, Jacob had to depart from the family. There was so much anger and tension in the home that he had to leave.

Years had passed, but one day Esau and Jacob met again, and when they did, they cried. When I read this, I paused because I could feel the overwhelming emotion as I look in this text. So many things were running through their minds. First, they were sorry for what had happened. Growing up will in fact allow you to see and handle things differently. You can’t allow little things to tear up your family. You can’t allow little things to stop you from communicating. No, you have to remember that you are family, and family is important.

Also, they were crying because all these years had passed, and time had been wasted. You can’t let gaps come in your life because you’re too busy and you miss moments of being with your family. Whatever has happened, you have to be the bigger person and clear up whatever has happened and get your family together.

Lastly, the Lord knows how to bring people back together. Esau and Jacob may have been thinking about each other but never reached out. I’m sharing this with each of you to pass this on, to reach out to the family, stay in touch with your loved ones. When you get back with them, you may be the one to have to create the right atmosphere. Whatever you need to do, just do it and know it’s the right thing to do.

Remember, it’s your family, and it’s your history. You have to ask God to help cover you and even change the situation so you can be able to share in those unforgettable moments, if there has been a problem before. He has a way of fixing the moment for you and your family to gather and enjoy a good time. You are a part of your family; share with them as much as possible, because one day it will only be a memory.

The Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Perry is pastor of St. Mark AME Zion Church. Contact him at josephp134@gmail.com.