Daily Office Readings for Tuesday after the Second Sunday of Lent. Year 2
Psalm 61, 62; Psalm 68:1-20(21-23)24-36 Gen. 42:1-17; 1 Cor. 5:1-8; Mark 3:19b-35
“And looking at those who sat around him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:35)
Our Lord Jesus is saying that those who come to God in the way he does are his family. I have a huge biological family but we often differ regarding the way we interpret the inclusiveness of God and the inherent Christian service required.
It’s Church. I have friends here in Cumberland and Hoke counties of North Carolina who are not members of my Church; some are not members of any church. They are also somewhat relationally distant from me. My Church family however shares with me our understanding of God in our lives and the lives of our collective community. For me, the good news about our church is that we love providing Christian hospitality to all people. Yes, there may be individuals some of us may have a problem with but for the most part, all are welcome. We don’t care about what others believe or don’t believe. Our covenant Baptismal Creed requires us to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves and to strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being. (BCP 305) To all this (and more), we answer “I will with God’s help.”
My Pondering is from the Episcopal Church perspective. I don’t apologize for that. I have found spiritual family in this Church. Our Presiding Bishop, The Most Reverend Michael Curry, says that we are the Episcopal path of the Jesus movement. There are many paths but this one is mine. I believe everybody should have a worship family of some kind. Even if you say you believe in little green frogs, fine, but if you do, you should be found down by the pond ever now and then.
Not being in my family is in no way a bad thing. In fact if you are not, then you are on the receiving end of our love, care, and hospitality. As the Most Reverend William Temple, former Archbishop of Canterbury (1942–1944) said, “The Church is the one institution that exists for the benefit of those who do not belong to it.” Being an Episcopalian/Anglican means treating so called outsiders as a beloved guest even in their own home as our Lord Jesus did with Zacchaeus in his home as found in the beginning chapter 19 of the Gospel of Luke.
So you see, it is as our Lord Jesus says, “Whoever does the will of God is my family.” Thank you Lord Jesus.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John