Text for the week: Mark 3:31-35
Families can be the most wonderful thing in the world – and the most difficult to deal with. This passage is usually read as Jesus rejecting the claims of his birth family on his time and energy, and instead dedicating his time to others. I prefer to read it a different way. For me it speaks not of rejection of family, but enlargement of family. Jesus is saying – you are all part of my family. Isn’t that great ? We can all be part of God’s family. He does add a qualifying bit though – ‘if you do the will of God’.
It can be hard to balance the demands of family, faith and society. At times it seems almost impossible. But this passage reminds us that wherever we are, whoever we are with, our aim should be to do the will of God. At home and in our worshiping community. Sometimes that will be easy. It may be as simple and hard as supporting a loved one through a difficult time. It may as simple and as difficult as taking time out and having space to be who God is calling you to be. It may be hard, a rejection of old patterns of life, a moving onwards on a different path. There is no simple way to work out what God’s will for your life is, as an individual and within the community of faith. It means spending time with God. Trying to listen to God. Reading the Bible and trying to apply it to your lives. Try to remember the greatest commandment, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.’
That is doing the will of God. Welcome to the family.