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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

Advent: Familial Love

So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the Lord made her conceive, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without next-of-kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.” Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. The women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David. ~ Ruth 4:13-17

You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them. ~ Demond Tutu

Family isn't always blood. It's the people in your life who want you in theirs: the ones who accept you for who you are; the ones who would do anything to see you smile, and who love you no matter what. ~ Unknown

Familial love is a tricky thing.

I know families that are close and tied together through deep love and loyalty.

And I know families that are fractured by dysfunction, toxicity, addiction, violence, or separation; with members who haven't spoken to each other in years, or who live in fear of triggering that dysfunction, toxicity, or violence.

For those families, stories of close-knit relations can be difficult to hear about. For those families, the idea of family is one of darkness.

For those families, it might be hard to view family as a gift.

And yet, the gift of family just might not be one of blood.

At most churches of which I've been part, the members have called themselves family. So for those who whom family is a difficult concept, how can we be a family to them? How can we show that family is not simply blood and DNA, but something deeper even?

Something that we are a part of because we are all children of the One God?

How can we shine light into the lives of those who are lonely or afraid and need the connection that they cannot find in their own homes?

Lord, we are all your children whether by DNA or by our shared humanity. Help me today to reach out to someone in need of the connection of family so that they might feel your love. Amen.

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