If you find this meaningful, please consider sending an offering directly to Cove Presbyterian Church, 3404 Main Street, Weirton, West Virginia or through PayPal.
Then he went home; and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind.” And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.” And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.
“Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” — for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”
Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
Now I think we all know that a family can become divided for all kinds of reasons. And to those on the outside, these reasons may be important or seem insignificant. For example, on one hand, some families divide as a result of abuse and pain that would be impossible for most folks to tolerate or maybe some kind of financial or emotional stress that’s just difficult to set aside. On the other hand, though, some families divide over things that just seem stupid, like a random remark or a joke that was taken the wrong way. Or maybe it’s because of some kind of deep seated jealousy or some shallow concern for another family member. Let’s face it, there are many reasons why families split. But regardless of the reason, the result is always the same. A divided family ceases to be a source of strength and comfort and support. And even though I think that’s always a shame, it’s particularly difficult when these are desperately needed. I guess you could say that when a family ceases to be united, it ceases to be a family
And that same thing can happen to a church, in other words, the family of God. You see, regardless of how we view the serenity of the reasons, when we allow something, anything to break Christian unity, we cease to be the kind of family God has called us to be. And even though we might put forth our best effort, we actually become ineffective in supporting one another and sharing the good news to others. And so, just like it is with our biological parents and siblings, we need to be aware of the dynamics within our spiritual families.