Jesus' Family

Mark uses the word "crowd" to describe those gathered around Jesus.  They were with Jesus when his mother and siblings showed up to restrain him and help him get back in his right mind.  A quick review of the people Jesus has been with leading up to Mark 3:20-35 shows us that the crowd likely included fishermen, tax collectors, "sinners," those who had heard about or even seen him heal the sick and cast out demons, and some of those who had been healed.  The crowd was a Who's Who of the unwanted.

I told the crowd in The Well yesterday that if someone took our photograph of us and handed it to someone who didn't know us, the outside observer would say we were fairly homogeneous.  We'd look like that to an outside observer, which might remind us that not every picture tells the full story.  I know many of you quite well and know our diversity includes some matters census data picks up and others census data wouldn't.  We are more diverse in financial situation and political preference and social understanding and gospel interpretation and home life than meets the eye.

I don't say that to alarm anyone, but to recognize that there is more variety here than any short phrase could encapsulate, unless that phrase is "Jesus' family."  And, if it's that, then may God bless us with more family members and with the patience and maturity and grace we need to welcome in whoever Jesus brings among us so that, as Rev. Cattenhead reminded us yesterday, we may grow the number of those who believe in and speak of our Lord.