From Pastor Quentin Wallace • It’s been a little over a month since my family and I began our ministry with the Lincoln Park Community United Methodist Church family, and we’re enjoying the journey so far.
From Pastor Quentin Wallace
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
— 1 Peter 4:8-11
For nearly seven years, I worked at a college as the Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs Director and International Student Advisor. During my tenure I heard many stories from students and I’d like to share this one.
Each year, many on campus felt that it would be great for our campus professors, administrators, or American students to invite international students to their homes over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. While I didn’t think it was a good idea, I’m a team player so I promoted the idea on campus.
Not to my surprise, only a few administrators responded and, as a result, a few students were hosted by a couple of American families. However, it didn’t go well to say the least.
Immediately following the weekend, several international students came to my office upset and traumatized, and here’s why.
Apparently when they went to the home of one family for the weekend, a family fight ensued as the foreign students watched. They were terrified. Because of that outcome, I no longer encouraged international students to go to the homes of Americans for the holidays. Instead we opened one dormitory for international students to use over the holidays and provided van service for them. They were very appreciative.
Why did I share that story? Glad you asked. As we prepare to come together with family over Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, conversations may ensue in the midst of our gatherings that may cause arguments, debates, and divisions. The times in which we live can bring forth all types of opinions, emotions, and feelings that create family rifts.
Therefore, we must keep Christ in the center and the importance of family, fun, and faith at the forefront.
Family is the foundation of society and that’s why families are so often under spiritual attack. The Apostle Paul, in Ephesians 6, explains that, in contentious moments, we’re not confronting mere humans but spiritual wickedness manifested.
Continuing patiently with one another in love is the key to familial longevity and unity. No subject matter should ever divide the family so that compromise cannot occur. Keep family first.
One way to keep family together is to have fun, and create time for smiles and laughter. The family that plays together stays together. Special moments of fun will last lifetimes. Plan fun-filled events.
Further, we must be people of faith by displaying the love of Christ. At this season, preach often with actions and deeds, not only words. Show your family the love of Christ and they will begin to see Christ for themselves. Faith-filled parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles show by example that the Christian life can be lived even in the midst of a sinful world.
Finally, let’s go through this season with thanksgiving in our hearts for all God has blessed us to experience. As we celebrate God sending Christ into the world for our redemption, let’s live as the redeemed, being constantly in prayer, following the words of Peter the Apostle, by being humble and patient and bearing with one another in love.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season.