Faith Daily | 26 January 2021
PRAYER of the WEEK Epiphany Three
through your Son you have called us to repent of our sin,
to believe the good news,
and to celebrate the coming of your kingdom:
teach us, like Christ’s first apostles,
to hear the call to discipleship,
and, forsaking old ways,
to proclaim the gospel of new life to a broken world;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 3:31-35
31Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. 32A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” 33And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Cathy Grant
What would you be prepared to give up for God? Your house? Job? Community? The special place in your life of your wife/husband, children, siblings and/or close friends?
Jesus makes some pretty outrageous statements throughout his ministry and this passage contains one of his real zingers.
In Jewish society at that time, family was everything. Family bonds were tight and long-lasting, seen as an extension of loyalty to Israel as the people of God, and of honouring Jewish ancestral heritage and the line of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Extended families lived and worked together, shared everything. Family solidarity was as important to Jewish identity as sabbath observance and the laws about food. Break the bonds of family and you undermine the fabric of Jewish society.
Yet Jesus slices right through this world view. He says that “anybody who does God’s will” is as much his family as his own blood relations. Ouch!
Jesus challenges us in this passage to understand that identity and belonging comes from loyalty to Him, not from being part of a particular family or community. This may be as hard for us to hear now, as it was for the listeners of His time. Jesus is asking us to consider whether we are putting other things ahead of Him – job, house, community, even family. Mark’s call to his readers then and now is to put Jesus first whatever the cost.
FINAL PRAYER: For Australia APBA p203
God, bless Australia,
guard our people
guide our leaders
and give us peace,
for Jesus Christ’s sake.