Third Sunday after Pentecost
A House Divided
Have you ever started telling a story, and then, after starting, you inserted another story? This is a device Mark uses often. In today’s story we find Jesus being begged by his family to come home, withdraw from his mission. They are frightened by what is being said about him, and want to protect him. Jesus wants none of that.
Jesus then calls the scribes and his accusers and speaks to them in parable (“How can Satan cast out Satan?”) and a quote any historian is familiar with (“If a house is divided against itself, it will not be able to stand”). This was the reasoning used by U.S. President Lincoln when rejecting the idea that states could legally secede from the Union.
If you have seen pictures of houses after a storm or earthquake, you can see the ones that are broken beyond repair. Perhaps we can also see that trying to divide our own interior “house” we can cause the destruction of our soul. We need to keep our focus on God’s will: to do justice and love kindness.
The story ends with the mother and brothers of Jesus asking for him. Jesus responds, “Who are my mother and brothers? Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” We are the brothers and sisters of Jesus. That is a house united.
Martha Griffis, elder, Central Moravian Church,