Sorry I’m late again this week with this post, but it was my wife’s birthday yesterday and I wanted to make sure I was as present as possible for her and the family (good timing too, as the kids made a huge mess of toys and literal vomit that needed to be taken care of). And thus ends the marathon of birthdays in the Fong family.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned to you all this before, but it all starts with my birthday in February, then our second son’s in March, then our eldest son’s in April, then our daughter at the beginning of May and now my wife’s at the end of May. And in there we have Mother’s Day and Easter as well, so I always joke that our family is the worst timing and family planning ever for a pastor. Add our wedding anniversary and Father’s Day in June, and the marathon of “family events” gets extended another few weeks.
And while this might seem tiring, I am glad for the opportunity to celebrate. I admit that it gets a little stressful trying to find the perfect gift (especially for my wife as Mother’s Day, her birthday, then our anniversary are usually all within a month of each other), but I am thankful for having someone I love to buy gifts for. And there are times that I forget or am just too busy or tired to devote any meaningful time behind whatever celebration we have, but that doesn’t mean that I love my family any less.
This isn’t to say that I am the perfect father and husband and all of you need to get a family like mine. Rather, it’s to say that God has given all of us a capacity to love, as well as people to love. It doesn’t have to be in the form of a spouse and children, but there are siblings, cousins, friends, colleagues, classmates, neighbours, congregations, communities, and by golly even pastors that are given to us to know, to have a relationship with, and eventually even to love.
This is a great gift, especially seeing as how we are relational beings, that we can exercise our heart muscles and live in love and community with each other.
This coming Sunday is Holy Trinity Sunday, when we celebrate and explore the mystery of the Trinity. And as I normally explain it, the Trinity is about relationship. From the beginning of time, the existence of God is around the relationship in creation, in animals, and in humans. Throughout scripture we hear the teachings of God around how we are to regard, treat, and love each other. And now, in these end of times (which is just basically just “current times”), we are taught that our love for others is proactive, inclusive, and a decision made because of not only our position in God’s kingdom, but everyone else’s as well.
We are made, created and designed in the image of God. And while this image is complex, difficult to fathom let alone understand, we know that this image is centered around love and we can draw our strength, our resolve, and our very purpose from that.
That especially through this time of pandemic, we need to rely on our relationship with others, but at the same time we must realise that others rely on their relationship with us. So not only do we need others, we are needed as well. Not only do long to serve others, but others long to serve us as well. Not only do we love others, but we are loved as well.
We are loved. Deeply. Dearly. Intentionally. Actively. Wholly.
This is a truth we often forget. We sometimes find ourselves stuck in our loneliness. There are times when it is just easier to think that we’re not.
But as Jesus promises us, we are never alone. For he is with us in the whole unity of the Triune God: Sovereign, Saviour, and Spirit, actively seeking us out and inviting us to join in the eternal community of love and relationship.
Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!