The Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity 18-25 January 2018
BIBLICAL REFLECTIONS AND PRAYERS FOR THE EIGHT DAYS
Your right hand, O Lord,
glorious in power
Day 7: Building family in household and church
Exodus 2:1-10 The birth of Moses
Psalm 127 Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain
Hebrews 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
In the Caribbean the family continues to be adversely affected by the legacy of enslavement and by new factors such as the migration of parents, financial problems and domestic violence. Facing this reality, the churches of the Caribbean are working to give support to both nuclear and extended families.
Families are of central importance for the protection and nurture of children. The Bible accounts of the infancies of both Moses and Jesus, who were in mortal danger from the moment they were born because of the murderous orders of angry rulers, illustrate how vulnerable children can be to external forces. These stories also show how action can be taken to protect such little ones. Matthew presents us with a model of fatherhood that is in loving fidelity to the Lord’s command, especially in turbulent times.
The Scriptures view children as a blessing and as hope for the future. For the Psalmist, they are ‘like arrows in the hand of a warrior’. As Christians, we share a common calling to live as supportive family networks, relying on the strength of the Lord for the task of building strong communities in which children are protected and can flourish.
You sent Your son to be born in an ordinary family
with ancestors who were both faithful and sinful.
We ask Your blessing upon all families
within households and communities.
We pray especially for the unity of the Christian family
so that the world may believe.
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God, we pray,
The right hand of God
is writing in our land,
writing with power and with love;
our conflicts and our fears,
our triumphs and our tears,
are recorded by the right hand of God.