Reading for Today: Matthew 12:46-50
Verses for Reflection: Matthew 12:49-50 (NRSV)
48 But to the one who had told him this, Jesus replied, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” 49 And pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!
These are difficult words to hear…if we hear them as applying to us. It’s one thing for Jesus to say His biological mother and brothers aren’t really HIS mother and brothers; maybe the whole God-in-the-flesh thing makes Jesus’ biology so different from ours that He didn’t really have any biological mother or brothers. OK – you know that’s NOT what Jesus was saying, right?
Jesus was teaching us something. Every time I read/hear these words, the pictures of my biological family flash before my eyes, and I wonder, “is Jesus really telling me these people are only my family if they are also Jesus’ disciples? Is Jesus really telling me I should have the same kinds of feelings toward every member of the Universal Church that I have for my biological family? Is Jesus really telling me I should act out of the same kind of love for every member of the Universal Church that I act out of toward my biological family?”
In short, the answer is, “yes He is.” And it’s tough; I get it. But, maybe there’s another side to this. What does it mean to have the whole Universal Church as your family? Doesn’t it mean more support, more love, more resources, more of what families are supposed to be about? Isn’t that…better? And isn’t that part of what new life in Christ is supposed to be like (not the same old kind of life everyone else is living)?
Reflection task for the day: Spend some time asking God to show you your Church family, members of your congregation and members even beyond your congregation. Take some time envisioning these people as your family. Take some time envisioning what it would look like for you to ACT like they are your family, to live differently because they are your family. How do you feel when you imagine all these family members? What kinds of things could you do differently each day to live into this imagining?
Have a blessed day,