I always seem to understand that the weekend was made for family.
But my family is far from here, so my church becomes my “replacement” family. For over 20 years we have lived far from our birth place, and if it is a “God” thing, then it is where we have been meant to live, and serve.
Of course, I jokingly say that God saved us from “hell” and moved us from Texas to Alaska, and then settled us in a very moderate weather place we call “Washington Home” – a moderate middle ground between our heart, and our families.
A few weeks ago I enjoyed passing through Texas, and must go there again very soon for some family stuff, but unless God were to dictate this as a final place, then I never see myself doing more than that occasional visit, and preferably, in the WINTER…
Having recently returned from a WINTER trip to Israel, I thought about the family that Jesus had during his ministry years. In fact, his mom was the one that got him to perform his opening miracle that is recorded in scripture when he turned water into wine. (Recorded only in John 2:1-11)
During much of the remainder of his earthly ministry, Jesus is separated from his family and surrounded by his ministry family (the disciples) and all the followers. His time was not his own. The burdens he bore were more for those who followed him, and it seems like there is little connection with his own flesh and blood.
In fact, at one time Jesus is interrupted from his instructions by his blood relatives who stood outside asking to speak to him. (Matthew 12:46-50) Instead of going to greet them, he asks his disciples:
“Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”
A startling question considering that his family is simply outside awaiting time with him. Jesus goes on to say…. You are my mother. You are my brothers. If you are doing the will of God, then you are my family.
This caused me to pause and consider a somewhat parallel thought of identifying who our family is:
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” ~(Genesis 2:24 ESV)
They shall become one…. My family may be far from me, but my spouse is equal to me, she “is” me… She is my one true family member I have that is ordained by God as my spouse. My Helper. (Genesis 2:18-20) She bears the burden and brunt of my calling, yet without some title that is so often sought after by others. She does not look for the limelight, she is happy to stay in the background of my ministry and calling. She is my wife. My best friend. My lover. My Bride. And the one that has never left me, nor considered that I am simply not the best one suited for her.
And she is here with me even today.
As Jesus is stretched far from his family, if not by miles, then at least by ministry – I too feel like I am far from my natural family – except for my bride….
Sweetie, you are my friend and my family and with you here then I am not worried about what comes next! Love you!