Saturday, July 18, 2009

Family Time

And he replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking at those who sat around him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.’Mark 3:33-35

I remember a time in my life when I wanted to disassociate myself from my family. They were too religious for my liking, they were not cool in any way, and I was embarrassed to be with them. I must have been fifteen or sixteen at the height of these feelings. All kids go through a time of rejecting - parents, rules, identity, teachers - all on the way to being a individual, an adult facing the world. We go through phases of family pride and embarrassment.

Jesus' family shows up on the scene and he trivialized their connection, their true identity as family. I don't think this was teenage angst, but a reminder for us all that family is more than biological. Family is a gift from God and is as wide as the sea. We can draw in and make nobody family, or we can open our hearts and let others in. I don't know the real reason for that scene, but I do know it shows Jesus both fully human and radiantly divine. We are born into families, great and small, but there is a larger family of God which is vast and ever growing. We are never alone. In God, we are never without family.

Precious Lord, we sometimes feel so all alone,
take us by the hand and lead us as we go.

We feel like outsiders some day but you have made us family,
knitting us together with people across the globe
a tapestry of colors and a symphony of voices.

Grace us with your presence at our tables,
in our travels, in our words and actions may we honor you.

We are your family, human and torn
but you have promised to make us your own,
brothers and sisters in the family of God.

We ask for your life and love so that we might server you
in the name of Jesus Christ, our brother and savior. Amen.

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