Sunday 8 May

I was drawn by reflections from Stanley Hauerwas on Mothers Day which invites us to reflect on the Jesus story in relations to mothers:
One of the great difficulties with being a Christian in a country like America—allegedly a Christian country—is that our familiarity with “Christianity” has made it difficult for us to read or hear Scripture. For example, consider how “Mother’s Day” makes it hard to compre hend the plain sense of some of the stories of Jesus. In Mark 3:31–35 we find Jesus surrounded by a crowd. His mother and brothers were having trouble getting through the crowd to be with Jesus. Somebody in the crowd tells him that his mom cannot get through the mass of people to be near him. Which elicits from Jesus the rhetorical question “Who are my mother and brothers?” which he answered, noting, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” Even more forcefully Jesus says in Luke 14:26: “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.” When you celebrate “Mother’s Day,” the only thing to do with texts like these is “explain them,” which usually means Jesus could not have meant what he plainly says.

It was tempting to follow through into the sermon but I took another path and explored Emmaus as a story which points us to the presence of God/Christ everywhere, but needing to be practised in a particular time and place with a particular community. It is not enough simply to say I am a Christian because I believe certain things (or not). It is recognising the communal aspect of our faith too.

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One thought on “Sunday 8 May

  1. If seeing the biological relationship such as mother, brothers and sisters from God’s perspective, what would it be like? The recent new understanding regarding the problem of evil, suffering and theodicy lets me comprehend this far easier than before. God has only one ‘Golden’ rule, which can be applied to ‘any’ life circumstances. The reason we care for ‘our’ biological relationship(s) is simply because to hand over the pool of DNA which contains my genetic information to the next generation,’ or just simply, to continue ‘life’. But biology tells us that there is no such ‘pure’ genes which can be called as ‘mine – it’s full of cocktails (the mixture of ‘spirits’ not ‘the Spirit!! ☺). Sustaining life in whatever circumstances is the way God keeps, and this is my ‘new’ understanding on the covenant. We may often call it love (αγαπη), altruism and so forth. So what is this all about? My neighbors’ hungry children can be and should be ‘my’ children in this understanding. My ‘biological’ genes can somehow survive in them. Giving up ‘life’ in whatever circumstances is against God and God’s gracious love. Life is precious, and this is the starting point to keep the first commandment – ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength’ (Mark 12:30)- Life!

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