Sunday, 1 July 2012

1st July 2012 Mark 3:21-end

When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”. And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”. So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”. He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.” Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”. “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

Two points from this reading have struck me today. First there's the fact that we are all Jesus' family when we follow God's will. We are brought into his embrace, we are accepted and loved. When we reach out for Jesus we are reaching out with Jesus.

The other thing that strikes me is not so positive; it's about the kingdom divided. Jesus talks about division weakening the kingdom; he could be talking about the CofE today. We weaken ourselves and our mission for Jesus by infighting; what are we doing? Surely we can find a way through our differences together.

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