Ah, the family reunion … anticipated by some, dreaded by a few and ignored by many. ‘Tis the season. I just returned from mine and I agree with George:
“A happy family is but an earlier heaven.” -George Bernard Shaw
Reunion defined: a gathering of friends, or associates at regular intervals or after separation.
My mother’s family is large and loud. We have a history of frequent gatherings but as the family has grown larger, the intervals between gatherings have grown longer. After all the weddings, funerals, births, other trips that have kept us apart for several years, we finally nailed it down this year … a Bertholf family reunion at Camp Sanders in spectacular northern Idaho.
• Mixed-up family team activities like creating family crests and counting how many countries had been visited by each team
• Games like Liar’s Club and Family Feud
• Softball, volleyball, swimming
Eating meals together that included
conversations, laughter, robust discussions, cooking and dishes.
Relaxing with coffee in the morning, afternoon naps, sitting on the deck watching the sun shine through the sprinklers …
• A devotional about legacy
• Candlelight Memorial to honor and remember those who came before us
• an explanation of who is in each generation and how we’re related
• a visit to the family cemetery
• family tee shirts for family pictures
Our family is blessed by generations of pastors and ministry leaders. Our gatherings always include singing and devotions. Whether we can sing or play or not, worship in music is in our DNA. This is how we express our praise to God.
We had a baby dedication by the pond and two baptisms in the pond!
Some of the young men put on a fantastic 4th of July fireworks display to celebrate the greatness of our country!
Because we re-discovered the joy of REUNION, we re-committed to re-instating our regular gathering interval of every three years. That’s a mouthful!
“You don’t choose your family; they are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.” -Desmond Tutu
Can we use these words intentionally to help us re-discover something we’ve lost?
Reunion – come together with someone you’ve been missing.
Re-Acquaint – intentionally move toward rekindling a relationship you used to have that was important to you.
Repast – share a meal or offer hospitality to someone who needs it.
Repose – take the time to rest and restore.
Remember – Honor the good in your past and pass it along to the next generation.
Rejoice – celebrate the milestones of your life!
Re-Commit – Commit to letting joy unfold.