Monday, January 01, 2007

a family blessing

What an amazing New Year's weekend! The Gorveatte family gathered in Lakeland, Florida for the first time in 3 years. Ken and Anne Gorveatte had 4 children (Mark, Ruth, Beth and Joel) who now have brought 19 grandchildren into the world. And the greatest part? All of us are serving Jesus and actively committed to the Body of Christ.

As the first family was preparing to depart at the end of the weekend, Father and Mother called everyone into the living room. They had been considering the pattern in Scripture of a parental blessing proclaimed over their children. They wanted to share with us an expression of their gratitude and a statement of faith in God's plans and promises for our future.

Each child was presented with this written blessing, printed upon a scroll. As I read this words, I give thanks for a heritage of faith and parents who model authentic Christianity. Thank you Dad and Mom for this:

A Family Blessing

3 John v. 4 “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.”

A family is known by what it values. For many families there is a secular, competitive mindset that sees value primarily in things or in status.

But there are some families who have chosen a different set of priorities. They believe that all life comes from God our Creator and Heavenly Father, and that we as human beings are made in His image, designed to be part of the great family of God by faith in His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Our value system is based on our desire to serve and honor the Lord in all we do, and although as human beings we are bound to fail and often come short of the ideal, nonetheless in our hearts we have a sincere desire to be what God wants us to be.

We believe that the Lord has created two major plans for mankind to fulfill His plans and purposes: the church and the family. My deepest desire and most sincere wish for my family is that we may have hearts that want to serve our Lord both in the Church and in the family. When we choose to follow Jesus our Lord and Savior we become part of the Church; but we do not choose to be a member of a family -- we are born into that relationship. So we are father, mother, brother and sister. We do not choose who will fill these roles for us we just are!

But, we have special responsibilities to each other. We must care for each other and help each other as we move along life’s pathway. We must pray for each other and encourage each other to be faithful children of God as well as faithful members of our family. As father of this family, it has been my joy and privilege to provide, as best I could, a home,-- a shelter where you were loved and cared for. We have tried to be an example, though often we have failed in what it means to love and serve God.

We have tried to train you up in the way you should go and have prayed constantly that all of you -- children and grandchildren -- would come to know and serve our Lord Jesus Christ. Sooner than we can imagine, we will be called to our heavenly home, and it will become your sacred trust to pass on to your children and their children the faith we have come to share in our family. So we ask God’s rich blessing upon you -- Mark, Ruth, Beth and Joel. We pray that you will be guided into wise decisions and that God’s love will always be the motivating guide for your lives.

May the peace of Christ rule in your hearts and with God-given wisdom may you enjoy the benefits of a God-directed life and pass that on to your children and their children -- the faith of your father -- and then I will say with the Apostle John, “I have no greater joy than to know that my children walk in the Truth.”