Sunday, December 12, 2010
When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, "Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?" Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me." As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: "What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written,`See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.' Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." Matthew 11:2-11
I have lots of cousins on my Mother's side of the family and none on my Dad's. And in the Native community, we all call each other cousins even when we are not related by blood, we believe we are all related. Some times cousins are best of friends and sometimes we don't know them well, or at all. But indeed we are related and we have a common history and a common story. No matter how much distance we are separated by, we still are family, still bound together in a larger group, an ancient bond that time and distance cannot undo.
And so it is with John and Jesus, who as cousins, share a bloodline and a common story. Their mothers were very close, and shared in some extraordinary times - their stories are repeated throughout the generations. Mary and Elizabeth, bound together by blood and miracle, caught between present reality and eternity, and misunderstood by most in their communities. The cousins, John and Jesus ahd common stories and songs, and the words Jesus spoke to John would have been familiar and family. John, in prison, would have known the old song and probably their mother's had sung it to them around the house and at temple. Their bond, eternal and temporal was made more solid in the passing of a simple message -the eyes of the blind are opened.
Today, I want to remember the gift of family and all my relations. We may not all be blood relatives, but in Christ, where ever we are we are bound together, in the time and for eternity, as a family and as the children of God. Because of two extraordinary cousins we are made Christ family, now and forever. I ask God to give me the strength to live as God's child, knowing that God's eternal love is constantly breaking through the roughest of family encounter and the most complicated of situations.