I smiled as Jill brought the ham and cheezy potatoes to the beautifully set table. A rare occurrence was taking place. All six of us Stevens were in the same place at the same time eating a delicious meal. We prayed. We caught up on life. We laughed. We shared stories of Easter’s past and reflected on the unique ways a pastor’s family experience a holiday like Easter. We ate too much candy. Then we watched an episode of The Chosen. Now that our children are all adults, times like these are more rare and more meaningful.
Following that I got on my laptop for our monthly Stevens Family Zoom—one of the unexpected blessings of the pandemic. The next hour was spent with my brother and members of his family in Nashville; my sister and her husband in Goodyear, AZ; and my Mom and Dad in Minot, ND. Jill and my two youngest were also able to spend some screen time with their extended family. It was a virtual experience similar to the family meal I’d just enjoyed with Jill and our kids.
The Importance of Family
As a Hero On A Mission (HOAM) I know just how important my family is to me. It’s made me more aware of ways I can connect with them even though we are separated by great distances which the pandemic has only made more acute.
Creating my HOAM Life Plan and reading it most days, highlights this for me and it encouraged me to think through how to be a better husband, father, son and brother. It has motivated me to be more intentional and active in making these family connections more frequent and more meaningful. It’s helped move the love that’s in my heart out to the people in my life in ways that they can feel it and see it. That’s worth a lot.
The Importance of Easter
It’s kind of what this last weekend was all about. On Good Friday God demonstrated his love for humanity, including you and me, by sending Jesus to make the ultimate sacrifice to defeat the powers of sin, death, and evil. Love in action.
Then on Easter morning, God vindicated the Son’s sacrifice by raising him from the dead to be the first of many to experience an eternal kind of life. New life in action filled with love, intentionality, joy, and grace. Which creates another family I get to belong to.