Royalty-Free photo: Silhouette photo of family during sunrise | PickPik


Dear First Lutheran Family and Friends,

“Family” – that can be a loaded word. Most of us might describe it something like Webster’s, “a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household; all descendants from a common ancestor.” Others might describe it with various adjectives – “closeness, conflicted, love, sharing, separated, crazy, supportive.” Some might describe it with associations outside of blood relations. “Family? My friends at school,” “Family? The soldiers in my unit.” There are many ways to describe family.

Even Jesus’ family must’ve had some trouble describing themselves. Mark’s gospel shows us His family when He came home from His travels, bringing along massive crowds. They were anguished. I can hear them saying, “Here comes Jesus again. He leaves for days and weeks at a time and returns with thousands of house guests! What’s He expect from us! He’s out of His mind!!!” It sounds like Jesus’ family wasn’t too happy with Him.

But Jesus doesn’t seem to care about their opinion. He’s focused on teaching and preaching to those in need of salvation. And they’re hanging on every word … crowding in around Him so much so that His family couldn’t even get close to Him. Then Jesus gives us His definition of family, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:34-35) The good news for those sitting around Jesus, hanging on His every word – for you and me today – WE ARE HIS BROTHERS AND SISTERS!

To be in Jesus’ family, one simply does the will of His Father in heaven – believe in Him, love God, love your neighbor. That’s it! When we follow God’s will in faith, Jesus calls us His brother or sister. But, even if we fall short of His will through sin, we’re still His family. We follow His will by returning to Him, confessing our sin, believing His promise of forgiveness. He restores us to our promised inheritance of eternal life in heaven, part of the ultimate family.

                                                                                                In the Love of Christ,

                                                                                                Pastor Jim