Second Sunday after Pentecost June 7, 2015
We Are Family
A song released in 1979 by Sister Sledge titled “We Are Family” became a hit and rose to #2 on the pop music survey. The song also became the theme song for the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates on their way to winning the World Series that year. This song places an emphasis on the closeness of family.
Another song that speaks of family is Bill Gaither’s “Family of God.” This song also stresses the intimacy of family—in this case, the closeness of brothers and sisters in Christ. One of the traditions of the Moravian Church that drew our family into the church was calling each other “brother” and “sister.”
Today’s passage from Mark also shows the significance of family. Jesus’ mother, brothers, and sisters come to see him, but Jesus refuses to go out to see them, preferring to stay inside with those gathered with him. He asks a question: “Who are my mother and my brothers?” (Mark 3:33). Jesus looks at those seated around him and declares that those who do God’s will in their lives are his brother and sister and mother.
The family of God is an accepting family that doesn’t exclude anyone. Jesus cares for all who love him, just as he cared for his mother and brothers. Jesus shows no prejudice toward anyone; everyone has the choice of obeying God and becoming a member of God’s family.
In a society in which we are becoming more distant to one another, the warm relations with members of the family of God are crucial. The church is able to give the loving, personal care that people need in their lives—a relationship that is found no place else.
Reid Lauderman, pastor, Bethel Moravian Church, Leonard, North Dakota