My husband is having a significant birthday this month. As a result, all the family are having a week away together. We will have a great time and probably do things that are not appropriate for people of this significant age. It got me thinking about “families”. We live in an age where families are more than blood connections. We have blended families where one or both spouses come to the marriage with children. People who are or have been in the forces talk about their military family. We talk about our church family. I watch Strictly each year and the contestants talk of their Strictly family. The list of families appears to be endless. So, then I thought about what it is that makes these groups family. I discounted blood before, so not that. Could it be a connected interest? That fits for some but not all. Maybe shared values. Again, that works well for some. Respect is an important feature in all groups but is that the full story. I concluded that love is possibly the glue that holds these disparate families together. Love comes in many forms and will show in these many ways in different groups. The Bible has a lot to say about families. In fact, right at the beginning we have the story of God creating a wife for Adam. It might be a better story if he was creating a husband for Eve, but never mind. We have the miracle at the wedding in Caanan. Jesus and his family were attending when the wine ran out. A nightmare scenario for a wedding but Jesus’ mum told him to sort it, and who dare ignore what their mum says? There are various times in the Gospel writings where Jesus’ blood family turn up, but he also speaks of his disciples as his family, and in fact of all who believe in him, as his brothers and sisters. For our celebration this month it will be our natural family only, sadly not Strictly family members! There are one or two of the male professionals I wouldn’t mind joining us.

This month’s book choice is The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. It touches on the theme of family not always being relatives. It is quite a light read if not a light walk!

God Bless
Maureen Kendall