Bible Readings and Devotion for September 21, 2020
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Devotion for September 21, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
There is an old proverb or axiom I have often heard: “Blood is thicker than water.” This basically means that family connections are stronger and more important than friendships. It has been used in English and German for about the past 800 years.
Our reading today from Luke 8 challenges this proverb. While Jesus is teaching, he is confronted by people who announce that his mother and brother are asking for him. It seems that they may wish him to stop teaching and leave the people. His response is not to get up and go to them. Rather, Jesus says, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.”
This is part of the challenges of following Jesus. We are called to a new community which rearranges our priorities. We are linked to one another in a way which is both eternal and which supersedes the natural commitments of our families. Through our faith we get to be united around Jesus. Jesus, through his suffering, death and resurrection, draws us to himself. He leads us into a new way of living centered in way of life in which we, “hear the word of God and do it.”
The draw of, “blood,” is strong. It is sometimes stronger from those who do not share our faith in Jesus. Without neglecting familial care, we are invited to reverse the proverb. By God’s grace we get to change it to, “Water is thicker than blood.” By this I mean that by the waters of baptism we are united with Jesus. Our connection with Jesus, and with his followers, gets to be eternal and ever strengthening.
The eternal connection with Jesus and one another in the Body of Christ is something which casts a vision for our lives. Throughout our days the Spirit reminds us and guides us toward investing in one another in the family of faith. Our worship, prayer, conversation, service, and care for one another all build up these God given connections. These connections continue long beyond our lifetimes. While we live this life in the world we are empowered to, “hear the word of God and do it.”
Most high and holy God, pour out upon us your one and unifying Spirit, and awaken in every confession of the whole church a holy hunger and thirst for unity in you; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen