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Who Is My Family?

As we usher in a new year, we have much to be thankful for: we made it through a global pandemic! 

Covid-19 has inspired new approaches in the world at large: a number of businesses transformed an almost exclusive in-person dining experience to one that allows for appropriate social distancing; students are attending school virtually—receiving instruction, submitting assignments, and being assessed from home; and corporate worship now includes live-streamed services and virtual choirs!  

Likewise, the virus has impacted family life.  For many, this has been a time to reconnect with our spouses and children through meals and game nights; people have filled weekends with great and small do-it-yourself projects; and we have learned how to celebrate the holidays by way of video conferences.   But as much as we enjoy the inventiveness of churches, schools, and businesses, the pandemic has undoubtedly created isolation and loneliness in the family that was once unimaginable.   

Covid-19 has certainly changed the way we approach life, especially during family get-togethers.  Some families have decided to forego travel and gatherings due to possible infection, and the thought of celebrating birthdays or weekends without mothers, fathers, siblings, or cousins may have individuals at odds. People may feel overwhelmed and experience feelings of apprehension and listlessness when considering the changes that Covid has caused; however, God would have us to consider not the lack but the sufficiency that only He can provide.  

I want you to know that you have a family in Christ.  In Mark 3: 31-35, Jesus was ministering at a home, and his disciples said to him that his mother and brothers were outside looking for him.  Jesus took an opportunity to teach a valuable lesson in his reply: he answered, “Who is my mother, or my brethren?  And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!”  In this passage, we must be comforted. Even as we mourn the loss of connecting with our family during the pandemic as we were accustomed to doing, Jesus instructs that with our church family we have the care, comfort and more importantly, encouragement that “joy cometh in the morning” (Psalms 30:5). 

Though separated physically, Harvest Life is still lifting up the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ with special Sunday Worship Services, Wednesday Night Bible study, and Word Empowerment every Friday – and everyone is invited!  

Please know that Bishop Dukes and Pastor Deborah are excellent parents in the Lord, and we know that this pandemic will pass, but as we go through the season, we should not forget that Jesus lives; nor should we forget that this is a time that He predestined, and He gave us everything we need.  In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Paul reminds us Christ’s “grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”  

As you welcome 2021, do not forget your church family; do not forget the brothers, sisters, aunties, and cousins in Christ that you have been blessed with.  

BY OCTAVIA MCDONALD