MORE THAN BLOODLINE
Given our societies current confusion about the definition of family, it might be good to reflect on how Jesus redefined the nature of family in Mark 3:31-35 and parallels. It was not by bloodline but by faithfulness that the nature of family was defined.
GOOD NEWS FROM A ROTTEN CHILDHOOD
Consider the implications of this redefinition for a person who came from an abusive childhood or had suffered a major rupture of this biological family line. Here Jesus offers an opportunity for a healing family experience. If your biological family has betrayed you, you can sincerely pray that God will forgive them, as Jesus did from the cross. However, then you are set free to let them go and be open to the possibility of a new and supportive family. You can become part of a genuine new family that will support you as Jesus’ disciples did.
FAMILIES ARE IMPORTANT
As God declared in the first chapter of Genesis, it is not good for humans to be alone. We need to be part of a supportive family. Families can support us in times of stress, reach out to us when we need extra help, and celebrate with us in times of joy. It is important in our new family to both grow and be nurtured as well as offer the same to your other family members.
REAL FAMILIES ARE IMPERFECT
Family members don’t always understand us. They sometimes act in ways that hurt or even betray. They are sometimes absent when you need them. If you recall, these are some of the characteristics that the Gospel reports of Jesus’ family of disciples. They frequently misunderstood and even tried to correct him. At times they acted inappropriately, were filled with doubts, denied him at critical times, had temper tantrums, and abandoned him at critical times.
When they failed him, Jesus responded to them with grace and healing love.
IMPERFECT CHURCHES AS OPPORTUNITIES
Jesus offers the church as your family. The very mistakes the church makes become opportunities to practice grace and forgiveness. The spiritual gifts are not always easy to exercise. Yet like exercise of our body, the more you practice, the stronger you become.
Welcome to your new family home. Fortunately for you, they are also imperfect. But they are open to giving and receiving love and forgiveness. Each week they are addressed by God and receive blessings from each other. Look for the Word of God fleshed out in the Body of Christ.