Christology of the Family is about learning to care for one another as Christ cares for us. The heart of the gospel is centered on the caring love of God. The incarnation, atonement, Word of God, the sacraments, and the church itself, would not exist without God’s redemptive care for each of us. The calling of a disciple is to care, and it comes straight from the heart of God through the work of the Holy Spirit, who gifts us in ways to care for the lost, the suffering, and the brokenhearted.
The family has been affected by our culture of entertainment and immediacy. The result has been that it has lost sight of its primary purpose to care for one another as the Good Shepherd cares for His sheep. The Christian family needs to reclaim the heart of the gospel and create new disciples, not just church members. The pastoral care community has to be trained in listening and in reflecting theologically from practical experience. All disciples are to be caregivers, whether at home with family, at work, or in the church. The job of the church and the family is to train, support, and guide them.
The Rev. Michael Lessard is president of Pastoral Care Associates, an organization that provides pastoral care services and chaplain intern training to hospitals and health care centers in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. He is an Anglican priest with the Anglican Mission in the Americas. Before moving into chaplaincy, he served as parish associate, vicar, and rector. He is married to Dorothy and has three adult children and one grandchild.