The theme for the 2018 International Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is: Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power (cf. Exodus 15:6).
We continue with day 7 of the biblical reflections from the official handbook, which was drafted this year by the Churches of the Caribbean. (You can download it here.)
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.
Gracious God, 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. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.