Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children's children.
Although we often read on scripture about parent-child relationships, we can often forget how frequently grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins appear as well. One of the blessings of living in our modern world and this country is that life expectancy allows most children to grow up knowing at least some of their grandparents and great grandparents. Our sons have half a dozen great grandparents in their life. However, that same modernity and technology has taken many of us far from family. Children with large extended families rarely live near them all.
I mention this because as believers, our understanding of family is much fuller. We are all an extended family of faith in Christ and through baptism, we are welcomed to that family. When we have a birth or baptism, often family members of those at JCPC travel from around the country or world to visit. But these occasions should also be for us a reminder that we are all surrogate aunts and uncles and grandparents for the children, youth, and young parents in our midst. The youth and children of our church have very few biological extended family to support them and the family ministries, which means we all get the opportunity and responsibility to step in.
As we begin the new school year, the children and youth ministries of this church are also getting started and extending an invitation of family. Typically, youth parents take turns serving the dinner on Sunday night for the youth group. This year, once a month, we will have an informal gathering for the youth parents concurrent with youth group. We would love to have folks who are grandparents, empty nesters, surrogate aunts and uncles, or maybe a small group prepare a meal on that night. We will have a sign up list. It will give parents a night off to gather and take sabbath, and give more of us the chance to support our families and young people. I hope you'll sign up for a dinner this year. There will be perhaps seven of them. And thank you.