Family reunions can be happy!

On holidays, especially at Thanksgiving and Christmas, families who have been scattered all through the year often get together. The motivation for these reunions is love. So they should be happy, peaceful occasions. Yet some of those expected to attend may feel they have reason to dislike someone because of his or her past or present selfishness, or cruelty, or lack of wisdom. They dread having to suffer each other's presence in some degree of strained politeness. But their desire to attend is motivated by love—love for somebody they care for and respect and who would be disappointed if they didn't come. And this love can touch the heart of divine Love, which heals disunity.

If family members feel that a reunion may set the stage for old or new jealousies and animosities to appear, they can make careful preparation for the mental atmosphere of the gathering—as careful preparation as they would make for the food they're going to serve. Most families have special dishes for such occasions—a favorite stuffing for the turkey, a traditional dessert. How much better to have such an atmosphere of love that it provides a more pleasing welcome for the homecomers than the fragrance of Aunt Kay's rolls coming from the kitchen!

Ideally, the hosts and every guest could contribute to the preparation for a congenial gathering through prayer. But even if only one recognizes how prayer can change the occasion into a time of joy, that one need not feel outnumbered. It has been said that "one with God is a majority." Since God is Love, He is certainly on the side of kindness and brotherly love.

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One thread
December 24, 1984

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