Tomorrow, and throughout this weekend, many families will spend some much-needed time enjoying each other’s company and observing time-honored traditions. Meals will be prepared, laughter will be shared, and if all goes well, we will remember what we are thankful for going into this holiday season. We will sit down at the table together and briefly rest in the good things we have been blessed with.
This weekend will be memorable for many families, but as with anything in this world, there will be brokenness and struggle alongside the good times. For some, there will be an empty chair at the table accompanied by a longing for a loved one who has passed on. For others, there will be addictions and personal struggle that put a dark tint on the festivities of the season. For many, there will be friction between loved ones over politics, child-rearing, and slights from the past. Even in times of great joy, we are human, and unfortunately, humans sin and struggle.
My hope for our Northside families this weekend is that they have much more of the good than the bad. But even if that isn’t the case, we can have great hope. Eventually, we will all be sitting together at a great eternal table in the presence of almighty God. The loved ones who have gone on before us will be there. We will be free from the prison of our sin and free from the chains of relationships tainted by human weakness and lack of understanding. There is precious hope for those in Christ and it is a hope that will not be put to shame.
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” (Romans 5:1-5)
This weekend, no matter where you are in your life, if you are in Christ, rejoice! You have every reason to be thankful. Happy Thanksgiving, Northside!