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Sunday Devotion: 26 December 2021, First Sunday after Christmas

Sunday Devotions

A family’s love spanning a century and continents

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Written by clergy and lay people across our Diocesan community, ‘Sunday Devotions’ is a column of short reflections based on a Lectionary reading of the day, suitable for small group discussion or personal use.

Main Readings: 1 Samuel 2.18-20, 26; Psalm 146; Colossians 3.12-17; Luke 2.41-52

Supplementary Readings: Psalm 138; John 1.1-14; Exodus 1.8-10, 15-21; Psalm 110; Galatians 4.22-28

Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” (Colossians 3.14)

In 2019 I was contacted unexpectedly by a woman in the United Kingdom who was also a member of a genealogy site after our DNA connected us to the degree of a second/third cousin. It turns out that my grandfather and her grandmother had an affair while he was hospitalised in Lancaster during World War I. Since she reached out to me, my extended family and I have built a close relationship with her and her family, and we are planning to visit once COVID-19 subsides.

The woman my grandfather had an affair with unsuccessfully tried to locate him via correspondence from the UK after he returned to Australia. So, more than 100 years after the liaison, it has been a blessing for both sides of the family to be intentionally clothed in love, which has bound us together in harmony and finally answered questions for my grandfather’s UK family.

Two previously separate families are now bound together out of our willingness to love each other and forgive wrongs done. Whether a family is separated by a 100-year-old secret or by lockdowns and closed borders, a family’s love can see them through emerging challenges.

This story may have remained unsolved or may have turned out differently if it had not been for the love of family.

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