“A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, ‘Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.’ And he replied, ‘Who are my mother and brothers?’ And looking at those who sat around him, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brother. Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.’” Mark 3:35
With these words, Jesus redefines what it means to be family. For Jesus, family is not so much about blood lines or having the same last name, as it is about doing the will of God—not just knowing God’s will, but doing God’s will. And since we know that one way we do God’s will is to follow Jesus’ example of love and service; in my sermon on Sunday, I issued a challenge to the congregation—that is, to serve someone other than a relative—it didn’t have to be anything big—a simple note to someone who could use a word of encouragement, pulling weeds in a neighbor’s yard, forgiving that person who had hurt you, instead of responding in kind.
Tim Muldoon on his blog ‘Dot Magis’ writes, “How many are the moments in which we can be Christ for others!...Perhaps next to you, perhaps now reading your e-mail, perhaps sleeping next to you, perhaps in the cubicle next to yours, perhaps on the other end of the classroom, perhaps on the playing field, is someone whom Christ must touch right now. And perhaps yours are the only hands, the only voice, the only smile, the only embrace, the only look that he can use to touch his beloved. Be alert!...Trust yourself to God, and he will act.”
So, will you accept the challenge and be open to the Spirit’s prompting? Will you be Christ’s hands and feet?
Gracious Spirit, give me eyes to see those around me and their need this day and then give me the courage to be your hands and feet—to share your love for them by loving and serving them. Amen.