by Becky Ahlberg
I love family reunions. I am fortunate to be part of a large family that regularly gets together and it is a real joy. As a young mother, it was fun to be together with my siblings and all of their children and to share stories, laugh and cry, and grow up—together. As a grandma it is even sweeter because now I get to watch my own children parent—a joy that has surprised me. Much of the joy comes in watching my children enjoy each other, work together, and be part of each other’s lives in deepening ways. It really doesn’t matter what we do, it’s just being together that is so wonderful. We could be having a picnic on paper plates or enjoying a special dinner with china and crystal. Few things are more fulfilling to me as a mother than having everyone around the table together.
I think that is how the corporate worship of the church should be. We are a family—certainly not perfect, but connected eternally because of our Father. I believe that his joy is heightened when we make the effort to come together and share our lives in real and deepening ways. I think he loves watching us interact and grow up together.
Families Have Issues
Every family has its “issues.” Paul addresses several in 1 Timothy. But when you’re connected, when you’re committed to each other, when you’re family, you work things out. You don’t give up on each other; you do everything possible to remain connected. I recently saw a plaque that sums it up for me: “We may not have it all together, but together, we have it all!” Leaders in the church must make a priority of helping us all rise above our issues in order to honor our Father and to ensure that everyone shares in the joy of being around his table—together.
Becky Ahlberg is the worship minister at Anaheim First Christian Church in Anaheim, California. She and her husband live in Fullerton, California with their children.