This referenced blog posting is quite insightful and spoke to me as the author articulates an intersection between Family Historian and encounters with pain and death…which, of course, also reminds me of walking that Special Needs Tightrope…These remarks from her blog posting (see below) especially resonated!
“I am my family’s Keeper of Memories. I pay a price because of that. But it is a price I would pay again and again because the joy, understanding, and connections that come, outweigh the price every single day…The depth of my pain only exists because of the depth of my love and the joyful memories…”
Also within her posting she refers to Eternal Families and has a link to share her beliefs. I did not click that link nor read what she said on that topic, so I am not endorsing her viewpoints, as I don’t know what they are. From my own Biblical Christian perspective I consider the concept of an “eternal family” to be applicable to the family of God, and those who are in the household of Faith. There are many biblical passages where family is addressed, especially from the perspective of eternity.
Historically the Jews/Hebrews were/are God’s Chosen People. Abraham was the Father of Faith, because “he believed God and it was credited unto him as righteousness.” Later in the New Testament the process of being “grafted into the vine” or “made children of Abraham” is described as a faith journey, beyond descendancy via blood (unless you are referencing the Blood of Christ).
Galatians 3:6-8 New International Version (NIV)
6 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”[a]
7 Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham.8 Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”[b]
Jesus describes himself as The Way and The Door. The only way to the Father is through him. So, from my understanding, we All have the option of becoming part of the Family of God, of accepting Christ, and then sharing in eternal life. This assurance of eternity in the Lord’s presence, and being united with loved ones in the faith provides me (and many others) great comfort when those seasons of death and loss arise. Losing a loved one who is a Believer means only a temporary “See You Later” style of goodbye, not a permanent severing of the connection for those of us who are also in Christ! As scripture says, “we do not sorrow as those who have no hope”.
Here is a lengthy passage of scripture worth pondering…
Romans 11 New International Version (NIV)
The Remnant of Israel
11 I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin.2 God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what Scripture says in the passage about Elijah—how he appealed to God against Israel: 3 “Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me”[a]?4 And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”[b] 5 So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. 6 And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
7 What then? What the people of Israel sought so earnestly they did not obtain. The elect among them did, but the others were hardened, 8 as it is written:
“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
eyes that could not see
and ears that could not hear,
to this very day.”[c]
9 And David says:
“May their table become a snare and a trap,
a stumbling block and a retribution for them.
10 May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see,
and their backs be bent forever.”[d]
11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all!Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. 12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their full inclusion bring!
13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruitsis holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.
17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.
22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!
All Israel Will Be Saved
25 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, 26 and in this way[e] all Israel will be saved. As it is written:
28 As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, 29 for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. 30 Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now[h] receive mercy as a result of God’s mercy to you. 32 For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.
33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and[i] knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”[j]
35 “Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”[k]
36 For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
- Romans 11:3 1 Kings 19:10,14
- Romans 11:4 1 Kings 19:18
- Romans 11:8 Deut. 29:4; Isaiah 29:10
- Romans 11:10 Psalm 69:22,23
- Romans 11:26 Or and so
- Romans 11:27 Or will be
- Romans 11:27 Isaiah 59:20,21; 27:9 (see Septuagint); Jer. 31:33,34
- Romans 11:31 Some manuscripts do not have now.
- Romans 11:33 Or riches and the wisdom and the
- Romans 11:34 Isaiah 40:13
- Romans 11:35 Job 41:11
My siblings and I with our grandparents – Ronald and Margaret Peterson. 1987
The first time I read The Giver by Lois Lowry, I was in my late teens or early twenties attending college. I was instantly struck by the lack of true joy that existed in the community because of the absence of historical knowledge and freedom of choice. The stripping away of freedoms, the complete control of the environment – even the weather itself – eventually led to a deterioration in all that makes us human. No one chose their own career, spouse, number of children, what to eat. They took daily “vitamins” to control their sexual urges. Children were bred and then placed with families. Members of the community were instructed in every way. They even lost their ability to see color.
But there was one community member who was the “Keeper of Memories”. This community elder…
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