The Family Christmas
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This meant her vile uncle would be there.
Reference: As soon as Laban heard the news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he hurried to meet him. He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his home, and there Jacob told him all these things. (Genesis 29:13 NIV)
Explore: When I was a teenager a friend of mine told me about the disastrous Christmas she had just had. Her family would take turns visiting her mother’s family or her father’s family. This year was the turn of her mother’s family.
This meant her vile uncle would be there. His kids were so different to my friend and they never got along well.
My friend went into detail about what a chore it was to all have to sit around the table together, all for her grandmother’s sake. They worked hard at playing happy families, but they knew they couldn’t stand each other and couldn’t wait to leave.
This whole situation baffled me. I grew up with a large extended family. We were all quite different and didn’t always see eye-to-eye, but we all looked forward to seeing each other at Christmas.
Application: The older I get and the more people I meet, I realise that families are all very different. It’s crazy how complex we can all be when a lot of the time we come from the same gene pool!
Jacob travelled quite a way to go and visit his family in Genesis 29. It seemed like he had never met them before and was not sure about the reception he would get.
However, he was not disappointed. His uncle ran to him when he received news of Jacob’s arrival and welcomed him into their home.
Everyone wants a family who gives that kind of reception. Not all of us will have had it growing up, but we all have the opportunity to be that family to others – even strangers we’ve never met before.
Prayer: Lord, give us Your loving heart for those we struggle to agree with. May we show grace and acceptance to all those in our circle of friends and family. Amen.
Who can you be family to?