The Holy Gospel: June 10, 2012 (Year B)

Read:  Mark 3:20-35

Meditation:  Common Ties

You’re probably familiar with the television programs that trace the ancestry of selected persons.  Almost always, some interesting predecessor or fact surfaces in the exploration.  Most of us have an interesting heritage if we could unearth it.

Some scientists believe that we are all related; that there is a common gene pool source from which the rest of us have emerged.  This gives a new meaning to the word “family”—a meaning far broader than a family tree.

In today’s passage, Jesus added another dimension to the word “family.”  He said that anyone who does God’s will is part of his family.  We have spiritual relatives as well as genetic ones, and there are times (as in today’s reading) when those family ties are stronger than flesh and blood.

If we truly believed that we have a common genetic connection, we might not be so quick to hate and go to war with others.  If we truly believed that every believer is a sibling, we might be so quick to play “one upmanship” and compete with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

We must not forget that Jesus’ comments about his larger family are in the same passage as his comments about blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.  Could it be that one manifestation of the unpardonable sin is the failure to see the Spirit in others?  For whenever we do that, we dehumanize the person or group we declare to be “unclean” (v. 30).

We must be very careful that we do not separate ourselves from people whom the Lord himself welcomes as his mother and brothers.

 

About jstevenharper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 31 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church
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