If you haven’t heard of the term ‘blended family’ yet, you will soon. It is an attempt to describe any family that is not natural bloodline. Hence, children of a couple who marry each other following their own previous failed marriages are introduced into a blended family. The same goes for what was called an adopted family or any similar arrangement. Jesus created just such a family as he hung upon the cross. Looking down, he gave his mother to the disciple John with the words, ‘Here is your mother’, and John to his mother with the words, ‘here is your son’ (John 19:26-27, NLT).
Six weeks after Katey and I were married, we moved into our house which came with two lodgers. Both were disciples, and we set about creating what we called an ‘extended household’. Soon these two were joined by another. What appeared a fairly simple housing solution with the benefits of shared bills and constant companionship soon proved trickier than we’d imagined.
The benefits were practical in that it was financially cheaper to feed a group than a couple. We were able to offer support and encouragement to each other. They were also challenging, as we had to learn to be real with ourselves and each other, discover how to initiate and participate in difficult conversations and practise a lifestyle that took no one for granted, so making an impact upon our immediate independence. Every week we all ate together one evening guaranteed and shared our stories openly and honestly around the table before praying for one another.
Perhaps in a context in which finding housing is challenging and expensive, where loneliness is on the rise and weekly budgets often leave too much week for our money, such living arrangements need to be explored again. As Jesus hung upon the cross, he reminds us of the importance of creating the household of God in the earth as a vibrant and very needful witness to a struggling world.
(Dr Micha Jazz)
With many peaceful blessings