During this period of lockdown MFL Westminster have invited different groups to share their insights to help support and nourish marriage and family life.
My thanks to my wife Jackie Carr-Jones writing from the perspective of the Ignatian Christian Life Community
God so loved the world he gave his only Son!
How incredible is that!
Our God, a God of pure love, the creator God who brought everything into being, flung stars into space, and who loves and knows each of us intimately and completely, who chose to sacrifice himself for us!
Love isn’t easy: it is not the fuzzy feeling in the pit of our stomach, the light-headedness, when we first meet and fall in love. It demands giving ourselves to others, putting the beloved first, at whatever cost to ourselves. It demands sacrifice.
On the news yesterday we saw the moment of joy when a nurse mother was reunited with her two young daughters after nine weeks apart during lockdown. She made the sacrifice to live apart from them while she tended to the sick during this pandemic, in order to keep them safe. A hard decision to make, but motivated by love.
Many families have had to make sacrifices during this difficult time. If you are a key worker, perhaps you have not been able to spend as much time as you’d like with your children. For some, the opportunity of being together all the time may have been an unexpected blessing, a chance to grow closer and do things together which the busy-ness of normal life does not allow. For others, juggling home working, home schooling and an uncertain future ahead may have brought stresses which have jarred with family life. Yet others, may have suffered the pain of separation from loved ones, perhaps grown up children or grandchildren, or the difficulty of not being able to gather for important celebrations, like birthdays. Zoom is a wonderful medium, but nothing beats a good cuddle! As our 4-year-old grandson said at the beginning of lockdown: Mummy, does Boris Johnson say we can still have cuddles?
As this passage reminds us, Christ came to bring us light. As we leave lockdown, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But as we emerge from this extended retreat, what have we learnt? How will we transform our family life moving forward?
The Holy Spirit speaks the language of love. What language do we speak?