Goodness, where does all this junk come from? My trip to the mailbox produces junk mail sprinkled with bills. What I wouldn’t give to…Hey, what is this?
It’s an invitation to the upcoming family reunion. How lovely! I have been feeling a bit of an “outsider” lately. How nice to be included. Scarcely have I felt so provoked with anticipation; I accept the invitation immediately. I don’t want to forget to confirm my attendance.
Clearly, tremendous time has been spent collecting the names of all the family members. This list of names includes everyone from the great-great-greats to the most recent addition to the family. The reunion has been outlined and each detail has been given careful account. The entire family is waiting for my arrival! Am I related to so many people, really?
Suddenly, an odd feeling came over me. Reviewing the list again, I realize the name of my favorite Aunt is omitted. Now that I think of it, I did not see my Grandmother or my Cousin on this list. Their invitations must have gotten lost, or possibly their schedules have not allowed them to respond yet. This list must be the names of the family members whom have already accepted their invitation. Surely there is another list.
I have to find the Master’s list. I am sure each name, address and phone number will be listed. Who is supervising the arrangements? Maybe they are overwhelmed; with such a large list, they must need more workers. Everyone has to be contacted. I’ve got to be able to help.
I’ll call Dad, He knows the score. I am certain no one would decline such a lovely event. Everyone has their quirks and peeves, but I can’t imagine anything large enough to keep someone from attending. No one would be that petty, would they?
“Dad, where is the original list for the family reunion? I have searched everywhere, but cannot find it. Is there somewhere else I need to look?” Frustration is getting the better of me. “There are a couple of names missing from the list and I feel there must be some mistake. Please, allow me to help? I can make some calls, or maybe I can send an additional invitation. What do You think?”
“As I have told the family for years, the invitation has been generously given. There is no cost to attend the reunion; the family need only reply through your Brother.” Dad seemed heavy at heart. Maybe this reunion had taken a toll on His resolve?
“Dad, is there anything else I can do, anything?” My heart aches as I’m realizing His anguish. Dad is carrying a tremendous burden; breaking the deep silence, His response comes.
“I made your Brother the contact person. I encouraged everyone to call on Him. Accepting the invitation must be done through Him; anyone who does not call on Him will be excluded from the reunion. No exceptions will be made. Please let them know the time is short, the reunion is very soon. I love you and I will see you soon.” Dad’s voice was firm and steady, making my task clear.
I found my collection of family addresses. It has been a while since I spoke with these folks, but this IS important. Turning each page, I searched for the names I did not see on the list. These numbers may not be current, but I have to try…
I took a deep breath, “Grandmother, it’s me. I did not see your name on the list for the family reunion. Are you going to come?”
“I saw my sister is on the list. You know we haven’t spoken in years and she never apologized to me; I just can’t see my way clear to be there. I have my pride.” I had never known Grandmother to be so stubborn.
“Come on Grandmother, does your sister even know why you are upset with her? Time is running out, you must be on the list. Dad said the reunion is by invitation only, no exceptions will be made. Call your sister, get things straight, then speak to my Brother and get your name on the list. Honestly, you don’t want to be the only one that doesn’t attend, do you? Can I count on you?”
(Scripture paraphrases include John 3.16, John 3.3, Galatians 6.9&10, and 1 Thessalonians 4.16.)
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