Saturday, August 20, 2016

Family: Whoever Does God's Will

Today's Reading: 
Amos 1:1-3:15 
Mark 3:31-4:25 
Proverbs 24:15-22
Click on Text Link to Read Online 

Focus Verses: Mark 3:31-35
31 Then Jesus' mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, "Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you." 33 "Who are my mother and my brothers?" he asked. 34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother." 

When Jesus’ family heard the constant reports of crowds, miracles, and his run-ins with religious authorities, they feared he was losing his mind . They thought it was time to do a family intervention and take him home so he could regain his senses and get back to a normal family life. Instead of going outside to meet them, Jesus looked at the people sitting around him and said, "These people around me here are my real family! My family is comprised of those who do my Father’s will.”

I wonder if Mary heard an echo of Jesus’ voice as a young boy in the Temple saying, “Why are you searching for me? Don’t you know I have to be in my Father’s house?” His Father’s house—his true family—is made up of everyone who does his Father’s will. It's a revolutionary way to think about family. God’s family must be regarded as of even more importance than earthly family. Kingdom family relationships are deeper, more profound, and more enduring than flesh and blood relationships. Spiritual kinship is more important than physical DNA.

Response and Action:
I want to hold my relationship with Christ above all others. I want to love him more than father, mother, son, daughter, and self. I want to embrace my family of Christian brothers and sisters. I will value and cherish the gift of Christian friends.

O Lord, thank you for adopting me into your family. Help me to do your will. Thank you for my Christian brothers and sisters, and for all they do to help me grow in my relationship with you. Thank you that so many of my earthly family relatives are also part of my Kingdom family. Help me to live in a way that draws people into the family of faith. Through Christ, I pray. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses: Matthew 10:37-39 
37 "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 

Following Jesus: Biblical Reflections on Discipleship
by N. T. Wright

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