The Holy Family
If we are to believe the most ancient traditions about the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Holy Family, we must accept the fact that Jesus suffered the fate of being an only child, whose so-called brothers and sisters were more distant relatives.
Being an only child is bad enough. Being raised by a single teenage mother and a step father who (as tradition again suggests) was getting on in years is even worse.
Christians call this bizarre arrangement The Holy Family, but others are more likely to call it a most unholy alliance.
The ancient Jews and the modern secularist – whether inside or outside the church – would have us believe that this Christmas we will be worshipping an illegitimate God born into a single parent family to learn the trade of an elderly carpenter reaching the age of retirement.
Orthodox Christians however, believe they will be worshipping a wise, kind, loving Father who sent His Son into the world to redeem single parenthood, ancient step fathers and only children by bringing them into new family relationships through His saving grace.
Without belief in God or in the enfleshment (the incarnation) of God the Son in Jesus of Nazareth, our society will continue to undermine the importance of family life.
Christian believers however, will continue to look to The Holy Family as the ideal of all social life. They will encourage the natural family and at the same time find ways of adopting those without its benefits into the family of God so that each person and every community may in their own way share in The Holy Family of Our God.