My parents’ wedding – with my two older brothers

Musing on Hosea 11… and the prodigal son in Luke 15


Families come in different shapes and sizes. In families we gain identity, security and love.

I have three brothers. Between us we have three parents. I have three children and three grandchildren. I only have one wife.

We talk of ‘the family of man’ and ‘the family of god’. ‘A father had two sons…’


Sunday was Fathers’ Day. Some celebrated their fathers. Some remembered absent fathers. Some reflected with love, anger or sadness.

I spoke about my Father with my brother yesterday. Dad was a conscientious objector in the war, a private man of principle and discretion…

God is portrayed as our ‘Heavenly Father’. ‘The younger son said, ‘Father…’’


Much of what goes on in families is ordinary, mundane practical stuff. Eating, sleeping, shopping, giving, receiving, surviving… Non-memorable but important.

The Christian creator Father God provides ordinary everyday necessities. ‘…Father give me my share of the estate…’


In families the emotional involvement and investment of all brings the greatest joy and the greatest sorrow.

Recently we have seen many images of families – the deep grief of bereavement and the elation and gratitude of healing and re-uniting.

The father grieves as the boy leaves home in difficult circumstances.


Imperfect families become a source of frustration. Things do not work out as hoped. Frustration with those closest to us – and ourselves.

The loving father knows his son has made bad choices. He can only wait for him to come to his senses.

The son is frustrated with himself, realising he has messed up big-time.


In the best families strong relationships come through tough times. Conflicts are resolved, wounds healed, faults forgiven.

The father waits and receives the prodigal son with open arms and delight. With the Father there is always reconciliation, restored relationships and second chances.

…Further musing:

For several months now I have been ‘musing’. I have tried different styles, different approaches. Thank you to all who have contributed and have fed back with their thoughts. Registering a ‘like’ or a comment is really helpful as I constantly assess and re-evaluate…

2 thoughts on “Families

  1. Memories – of your dad and mum. Of my dad. Of lack of relationship for various reasons. A loving supportive family is such a gift, but sadly too many don’t experience that.


  2. Reminded me of the sermon I heard on Fathers Day, from All Saints Woodford Wells, and which has remained with me. Jesus is God’s son and loved by his father and therefore, as sons and daughters of Father God, we/I am also loved by him as much as he loves Jesus. I realise I knew this but it came home powerfully this week, what an amazing God we have.


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