The word “family” for many is a warm embrace, a feeling of belonging and often a feeling of place, of home. Redefining family as nuclear, dysfunctional, abusive, divergent, non-traditional has not changed the underlying emotional need and longing for family because family is one of the sweetest creations that God made. The feeling of wanting to belong is ingrained in the human heart.
Family is God’s idea. Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are all centered on family. And from Jacob comes the 12 tribes, the twelve clans, the twelve families of Israel.
Family is where you belong.
The American experience and the American character that came from it was heavily influenced by the bold “adventurers” of Europe. Even our faith seeking ancestors were willing to cast off from the old and familiar – and leaving family (unlikely, ever to return) set off for a new world. And yet even with that great divide of ocean they brought with them “family.” That family became community and community became family. (Friends are the family that you choose for yourself.) The New England colonies shared faith as a common family denominator. (Even today there are churches where people refer to each other as brother and sister.)
Once upon a time, your village was populated with your “people.” Grandma, Grandpa, Aunts Uncles, Cousins, in-laws and more cousins. There was that family support, that sense of belonging. Then in true American spirit people ventured from the coast over the first set of mountains and then on to the next set of woodlands across the Mississippi and the great plains to the other coast. When this migration first started by wagon it was the same kind of goodbye to family, likely never to return again. Off to creating new communities. First came the railroads and then the airplanes, phones and computers to make it possible not to have to say goodbye forever. My grandparents came from Europe and settled in New York City. Their children extended the arc of family by 50 miles. Their grandchildren extended the arc from Massachusetts to Texas to California and their great-grandchildren followed suit.
Even though family size has changed where you may have generations now of only children or even just one sibling and the cousin pool is now just a puddle yet in society there still is that tug of family. People still want to belong. That is why sports teams seem to have rabid fans. And there are sports leagues and service clubs that create a sense of belonging. Churches now become important centers for family and belonging. Churches also become important as a place to be encouraged to share the Gospel because in the end it is the Gospel that truly makes us family – brothers and sisters. The Gospel gives us a common goal, a common bond – to find new family members, to bring them to their Father.
The Christian Montessori Fellowship is also a family – your family. Next visit, let’s introduce you to some of the amazing things that are being done in your big spread out family.