THE FAMILY VACATIONS
The Atlantis. Paradise Island. This popular vacation spot always brings a smile to my face. So much laughter and family memories were made for me at this lost city of Atlantis. Even being stuck overnight at Miami International Airport is a pleasant memory for me. That is after the fact. I have to admit it was a very frustrating pressure point for Kevin and I. We were traveling with six kids and learned we would have to spend the night in an airport with other hostile and frustrated world travelers because our flight out of Paradise Island was delayed for heavy rains, which caused us to miss our flight departing Miami. Kevin didn’t sleep at all, but kept silent vigil over this traveling band of gypsies. He was the patriarch and he must keep us safe. Poor guy we were all freezing and trying to get comfortable on the hard airport floors. Kevin finally found a large plastic bag of airplane pillows and gave each of us one then wrapped the whole crew in the plastic bag. Trust me we were a sight of vagabonds. Good times. Good memories. My parents took all of us back for their 50th wedding anniversary. We are a crazy mixed up lot but we know how to celebrate a couple who sacrificed and gave each of us so much through the years. It was the last family vacation my dad would make. Can you say, “Priceless”? A few years ago Kevin and I went back and took each of our three kids and their new families. Many, many laughs and good memories were shared for all. Now the kids have all joined the adult life and work force. Times of family get-togethers are going to be few and far between. Thanks for the memories family. Those are things that can never be stolen from my thoughts.
“What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.” John 2:11-12
I don’t know why but I love the thought of Jesus taking a family vacation before He got busy in public ministry. He went with his mother, his brothers and his disciples to Capernaum and there they stayed for a few days. These disciples were just beginning their lifelong journey with Jesus. They had just witnessed Jesus turning water into wine. Their mouths must have dropped. Their thoughts had to be swirling. Who is this man who could perform such signs? They are about to embark on a journey with Jesus. They are characters in His Story. They are about to live a life worth living and tell a story worth telling. They had been participants in His first sign. Each miracle Jesus performed was a sermon in action. Jesus had proved to these first few He had authority over natural elements. His disciples now believed in Him. From the very first moments Jesus began teaching them of His Father and His authority over all things created. We read each of these events from the backside of His Story, but for these new disciples each day and every new event brought marvels that were difficult to understand. Jesus went down to Capernaum with them. His family went with them. They were getting to know each other. They were going to make memories that would sustain for the turbulence that was to come. Jesus knew what lay ahead for them. The days would be long. The ministry would be draining for them, so He took them on a retreat first. Before this group would ever begin acts of service, Jesus served them. Jesus was intentional in every thing He did, and He intentionally took this group down to Capernaum so that they could experience a new awareness of God’s Presence. Jesus is Emmanuel. Jesus is God with us. God was now manifested in their world and they had to gain knowledge of this. They would eat, drink and relax while He spoke and taught. They would gain a perspective of what it meant that Emmanuel had come into their world. At Capernaum, they would gain a sense of Who He truly was. Before they would ever begin this “new norm”, they had to reframe what everyday life would look like from now on.
Retreat! The word carries a negative connotation in battle terms. No commander wants to issue a retreat. It is a command to pull back and allows the enemy to gain territory, but in Jesus’ wisdom that is exactly the battle plan He would begin with. He took this group on a retreat so that they could get into a frame of mind to trust Him, rely on Him, and adhere to Him and to go where He led them to go.
Memories of family vacations bring smiles to my face. I wonder what would it have been like to go down to Capernaum with The Man from Galilee, who could turn water into wine? I begin to smile thinking of sitting at His feet as He taught. What memories they must have made on this family vacation!