• Ps Andy

Skeletons in the Closet

How do we show grace and love and walk with people on this journey?


Luke 10:25-37

How do we navigate the maze of physical, emotional, past trauma and unknown issues at play?

In my family I am the go-to person for information about our family tree. I’ve built up quite a tree on ancestry dot com. In the process I have discovered a number of skeletons in the family closet. A side note: Matthew highlights a few skeletons in the ancestry of Jesus in Matt 1.


A convict these days is no longer a skeleton but a thing to brag about. My great-great-great-grandfather was transported for seven years for stealing a shawl and a loaf of bread. The descendants of William Townsend are numerous, and I’m distantly related to many people around Molong, NSW.


Like all families I have ancestors who were born out of wedlock, ancestors who were born way less than 9 months after the parents were married, criminals, and others who we don’t talk about. Some Mum knew about when I asked her, others were a surprise.


Many skeletons are also family secrets. Secrets are kept because of fear of rejection and being isolated. Some are open secrets and the subject of whispers behind people’s backs.


In pastoral ministry I have come across family secrets within congregations. Members keeping secrets out of fear of losing a ministry or being forced to leave a church. Then there are people who don’t attend church because they fear they won’t be accepted. The church accepts divorcees and unmarried mums these days when once upon a time, not that long ago, many in this situation left the church.


People with same sex attraction or questions around gender have always existed, and are certainly in my family tree. In our pews there have always been some who have kept this secret out of fear. And many who wouldn’t think of attending church because they believe they would be rejected. It seems to me that these are the next issues the church has to work through. How do we show grace and love and walk with people on this journey? How do we navigate the maze of physical, emotional, past trauma and unknown issues at play? I don’t have an answer, but I am working on it.


God bless


Pastor Andy

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