The media are full of their reactions to the television interview aired last night. Although the story relates to the royal family, apart from the publicity it could so easily be a story from any family up and down the country, or around the world: someone doesn’t ‘fit in’, someone doesn’t feel accepted, a bitter fall-out, unpleasant words said, people not speaking and so on. There is a bitter irony that at the beginning of next week we have Mother’s Day, and the marketing and sales people spin a tale of ‘perfect families’ to sell their merchandise (or, in other years, meals and events). No family is perfect, because it is made up of people, and people are not perfect. We share something in common with most family members (DNA, common experiences), but we are all different – and in some cases we have little more than the DNA in common. We are taught social skills (and pick up bad habits), but we also pick up values and behaviours from a whole range of other sources (school, friends, media etc). Sometimes we have to cope with people who air their opinion whether it is appropriate to do so or not, some have views with which we totally disagree, some have behaviours we don’t like or which disgust us – and sometimes we are the ‘problem’ not them. Families can be challenging, but they can also be where we learn some of the most important lessons about coping with life, and can be our most loyal support. The Gospels suggest that Jesus had a similar experience with his family
Lord, thank you for families, and for our good experiences of family. We acknowledge that at times we have behaved in ways, or said things, that caused pain. We remember all families who are going through difficult times. Help us not to judge, but to offer support
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