“Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
Family is an odd thing. For some, family is the greatest source of joy and belonging. For others, family is the greatest source of pain and fear. Some feel as though they could never succeed at life without the love and support of their family. Others eagerly await the time they can be freed from the oversight of their family so they can be themselves and live their own stories. For many, it is a mix of both joy and pain, sorrow and love.
For some, the family of God can be like their own families — loving, welcoming, and warm. For others, it might be challenging to connect to the family of God because their own families were dysfunctional. For these people, the family of God has the potential to be the family they never had. It is no accident that Jesus uses the metaphor of a family to describe the Kingdom of God. In Jesus’ time, the connection shared by a family was stronger than any other connection in the world. Family looked out for one another. When one member of a family died, others stepped up to care for those who remained. This was truly a “Kindom.”
Through Christ, we are connected to one another by a connection that is different and stronger than any other connection in our world. We are to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. We are to look out for one another. Regardless of the example set for us by our family of origin, this means that we are to consider the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ at all times, whether they are present or not. Being a part of a family means caring for the others in our family, even when it is inconvenient. This is how we bring about and experience the Kindom of God.
As we reflect on the family we have received through Christ, the connection to our brothers and sisters that is stronger than anything, we need to ask ourselves, how are we caring for the needs of our brothers and sisters? Are there some among us in need of care and compassion? How can we provide for them? How can we become more welcoming and warm for others in the family of God?
Loving God, it is through your Spirit that binds us together that we are made into a family. Guide us as we grow into this family. Help us to see those of our brothers and sisters that may need our care. Draw us together and make this, your family, one. Amen.