We are family
Family – how many times do we get stuck on our past and can’t move forward to times of contentment? There is another family, other than our biological family, that we can belong to – and be accepted. It’s not an ideal family; it’s God’s family. God, as the parent, will love us all with the same joy and passion and inclusiveness.
In our Scripture, Mark 3: 20-25, Jesus has been traveling; he has recently chosen his disciples, and he has been healing, preaching, teaching, casting out demons for days and now he’s tired ... really tired. It never seemed to end. And this was just the beginning of his ministry. People around him always pressed him. And just when he gets to the house, thinking he can sit down and have a quiet meal, some down time from all the demands on him….
Then here comes someone into the house to tell Jesus “Your mother and brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” Even mom won’t leave you alone.
We don’t know why Jesus’ family came to where he was ministering. Maybe it was to talk some sense into him. I may be wrong, but the crowds were saying that he had “gone out of his mind” (v. 21). They probably wanted to sit down and have a meal with their son and brother – to protect him and try to talk some sense into him. But to have a conversation with him was next to impossible.
When Jesus is told that his mother and brothers and sisters were waiting for him outside the house, Jesus asks; “Who are my brothers and my sisters?”
Maybe this is where we come into the picture with Jesus; where Jesus asks them the question, “Who are my mother and my brothers?”
It’s confusing for us, when Jesus so easily dismisses those who loved and raised him. At that time, family values were the core of who they were; it was their identity.
Family was everything. It still is. We need to be part of something more than ourselves; somewhere we can get love and support, to shelter us in the times of pain in our lives. We need families to be our home base, what centers us. Families teach us, propel us to be more than we think we can be.
The family of the church does – at least tries to do – that. Yes, this family, the family that Jesus fashions for us, has some pretty unique and unlikely brothers and sisters. But it’s the same family today as it was when Jesus said: “Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
God’s family is those who are broken and sick … those seeking hope and compassion, looking for truth in the midst of a world of lies … those looking for freedom from demons of alcohol, drugs, greed, apathy, work … who want to find rest in Jesus, and meaningful relationships in the midst of a technology-based world.
Jesus takes us out of our self-absorbed families and redefines what a family means. He expands it and includes everyone. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, child or adult, the religious right or left, political Democrat, Republican, or other, gay or straight, old or young, rich or poor, and of every culture.
From this world, Jesus invites each one of us to be part of this diverse mess we call humanity – to be part of God’s family. And when we need (which we often do) to have some quiet, down time, Jesus is there to give us shelter from the storms in our lives. In the midst of the messiness that happens in families, we can trust God.