Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Home for Christmas? 11

Leaving home and coming home

John 19. 25-27
Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

In John's account of the crucifixion, his mother Mary and one of his closest friends, John, stand at the foot of the cross - we often see them portrayed here in art . Both of them are facing a loss which will have profound emotional and practical impacts on their lives. Seeing this, in a last act of care for them, he entrusts them to each other. For many of the first Christians following the way of Christ meant losing the networks of support they had once had if their families and friends did not agree with their decision. Some also faced the loss of family through persecution. The early Church became a new family for them, as they learned to support each other across the divides of class, background and gender. Often our "family" - those we turn to for support and those we feel responsibility towards - includes, or even consists of, many to whom we are not related by blood or marriage. Like Mary and John we can find all sorts of people are part of what is truly "home" for us.
  • Draw your “family” tree, but try to include in it all those who have been significant in your life, whether you were related to them or not - friends, mentors etc. 
  • Does the "church family" fit anywhere into your family tree?

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