Jesus and His siblings and members of His immediate and extended family lived together close by each other. Christ enjoyed a healthy family atmosphere with members of the close-knit family. Christ’s family included, saved apostles, disciples, multitudes who joined and followed Christ from city to city. Jacob had a family later split due conflict of the brothers with Joseph due to envy and jealousy. Jacob’s family eventually reunited after years of enmity between the brothers. Most cultures rely heavily on sons to continue the lineage. Often the oldest would be the leader who inherits the main assets entrusted as a steward for all members needs. Other have cousins and nephews living nearby to interact on a daily basis. Communities and neighbourhoods are often built on the land allocated to tribe in the community.
From Genesis this is seen in the life of Abraham and Israel ( Jacob) and his sons. A classic case is the 12 tribes of Israel settling according to the area on the land of Israel. Psalm 133 is attributed to David and it has an older setting and context. It comes from the image of an extended family. In Israel’s culture sons stay at home with their father in the ancestral family home. As and as they grow and get married with children the family joined in the extended family home. During the story of David’s anointing as king by Samuel the prophet, all the sons were living together. David’s experience of this must have been a good one unlike Joseph’s in Genesis when his brothers did not like his dreams.
His father’s favouritism so they plotted to kill him and eventually sold him off to slavery in Egypt. But from what we know David had a good experience although left to care for the sheep as the youngest as the other older brothers went into battle. Joseph reconciled with his brothers and blessed them. David as king finally brought Israel is together as one people so no longer different factions. Tribes apply image of brothers living together in harmony to the whole of the nation. This family metaphor is applied to the whole of Israel through temple and Christian worship. Christmas is the time to forgive, let go to live in peace. Churches do an amazing job and reach out to the bigger community to celebrate Christ.
Even into the Diaspora when Jews were spread all over the known world. It is a metaphor as church a truly global community as brothers and sisters in Christ. Modern society recreates similar community in society based on class, wealth in the gated communities to live among similar minded people sharing common interests. Community is essential provided members look out for the best interest of all not the select privileged few. With families scattered all over the world, Christmas is the time most meet to celebrate and catch up on progress of each member of the family. With Skype, What’s Up, Facebook, telephone, the family maintains contact daily as often as possible.
With Christmas cards, gifts, visits it is time to make that sacrifice to check on members of the family or created friendships replaced families. whatever is best for everyone is done to be with the family to relaxed and enjoy each others company. Above, despite the challenges of interaction of family one can say truly the best support ultimately comes from family. Although members may not be one’s preferred list. God in His Wisdom, Grace, Mercy, Sees it Fit to place and allocate each person according to His Pleasure. So hold your tongue, focus on the BEST in the most outrageous, repelling members of the family. Include those one would rather avoid as God knows best. Thank God for having next of kin, bless them and ask God to help build up family in Jesus Name.
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