Prayer

Day 7: Different Families

23/01/2018 9:00 am

Starting Point

The protection and nurture of children are important functions for any family. The experience of the holy family fleeing an atrocity, for example, offers one model of family life that demonstrates God’s fidelity to us. Life today also poses significant challenges for carers in the protection and nurture of children. The churches of the Caribbean aim to respond to this, wrestling with factors that include migration, financial problems and domestic violence. As Christians, we are called to be communities where all families are supported and strengthened so that all are safe and may flourish.

Readings

Exodus 2.1-10 The Birth of Moses
Psalm 127 Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain
Hebrew 11.23-24 Moses was hidden by his parents…because they saw that the child was beautiful
Matthew 2.13-15 Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt

Prayer

God of love
You risked your life
Through the womb of a teenager,
And shared the nurture of your Son
With a village carpenter.
You understand families, communities, relationships –
Mixes all of beauty and brokenness.
Bless all those who raise children
And care for the vulnerable
And through your grace
Gather them into the life of your kingdom,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Reflection

The head of the family
gathers us all in…
ushered from near and far,
we each take time to find our place;
so we can take our seat at the table.

The meal is prepared,
the banquet set.

For some, the table is just out of reach for now;
we lift them up
so they can see the others,
reach the food that seemed distant before.

For others, the chairs are too heavy to move;
so we swap places,
shuffle around
and help them get comfortable.

Couples move around,
gaps are filled,
odd numbers don’t matter;
after all…
it wouldn’t be a proper family gathering
if we weren’t all there.

Questions

  1. How is our understanding about what is ‘family’ changing?
  2. In what ways do you experience ‘family’ in your church?
  3. What role does the church have in supporting families during turbulent times?