For most of the history of human civilization the term family has been used to speak of a community of love, parents and children, and a complex and diverse range of relationship connections across blood, contract and friendship ties. In the “Western” world family was often defined as a household of a wife and husband and their blood children, but in fact this was a concept more visible in theory than in practice. Many of the families that I knew as a child embraced children who were adopted, grandparents raising their grandchildren, and extended families sharing the responsibilities of raising children and supporting parents who were sick or struggling. Even more-so today, family units which have been broken through death or divorce, are reformed with new relationships of love. For most, this situation has arisen after much struggle, grief and pain. But thankfully God is good at writing straight with crooked lines, and for those who are able to look beyond the pain, new life is waiting.
The mother of Jesus and his brothers arrived at the house.
Standing outside, they sent word to Jesus and called him.
A crowd seated around him told him,
“Your mother and your brothers and your sisters
are outside asking for you.”
But he said to them in reply,
“Who are my mother and my brothers?”
And looking around at those seated in the circle he said,
“Here are my mother and my brothers.
For whoever does the will of God
is my brother and sister and mother.”