Recently, my Mom and I were reminiscing about the chaos and joy surrounding the arrival of the Sunday Paper in our living room when I was younger. Everyone pulled their favorite section and as a family, we poured over the paper for a couple hours. Before he could read, I remember reading the comics to my brother and later we would fight over who got them first.
This small conversation with my Mom had me recalling other aspects of my childhood that I remember fondly. For instance, if the summer temperature in Oregon went over 100, we had ice cream and fruit for dinner. I remember walking to the comic book store with my Brother so he could spend his allowance…and on the way, there was one particular ‘barkless’ dog that we would play with through the fence. I remember going crawdad hunting with chunks of hot dogs tied to a string. I also remember my parents dancing in the kitchen.
These are each endearing memories of my childhood. Each remind me of how family can be structured in moments of happiness.
I recognize that not everyone had such pleasant childhood memories or parents who were so involved in the children’s lives. I also recognize that I’m remembering great memories and often gloss over the not so amazing memories. It was not all sunshine and butterflies for me. And I know it wasn’t for others either.
However, the not so nice memories are cloaked in the comfort of scripture.
A scripture that I often lean on when thinking about family is from Ephesians 3:15 (NASB), which reads “from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name.”
When reading this verse, it’s important to know that the word ‘family’ is closely transplanted in the original language as ‘father.’ In both the Old Testament tradition, as well as our current society, it’s easy to think this verse is referencing families taking the name of the Patriarch’s family. This is still seen now, as brides take their husband’s last name.
In reality, the verse is much deeper. It refers to ‘every family,’ as in ‘all believers’ in Christ. All of us…as one big family. Furthermore, we all derive our names from that belonging to Jesus when we adopt the name ‘Christian,’ as derived from the name ‘Christ.’
This is a family of hope and love. Can you imagine how that family will interact? How much greater Heaven will be than pursuing the comics out of the Sunday paper?!?!? There’s no need for nostalgia with a future like that!
No matter what our childhood’s looked like, our future is one of hope through Christ.