BY MARTIN LUCIN - GRACE LUTHERAN CHURCH
Jesus experienced conflict in his family – does that surprise you? In Mark 3:20-35 we hear that his family was so upset by what they saw he was doing and heard he was saying, that they decided to “take charge of him” because they thought “he was out of his mind” (Mark 3:21). Later in our story, we hear that Jesus’ family arrived while he was debating with the religious leaders about Satan, the prince of demons – someone told him that his mother and brothers were there, and Jesus responded, “My true family members are those who do the will of God.”
Does any of this sound familiar to you? I am encountering a high number of families at this time that are experiencing serious conflict, and it seems to be presenting in various forms: bullying of children, abusive romantic relationships, work relationships that are ending acrimoniously, you name it, people are experiencing difficulty of every sort and asking for help. While certain forms of conflict can have beneficial consequences, many forms of conflict can have results that are long lasting, far reaching and quite destructive and hurtful.
Do you know where to go or who to call when you need help? Is your family typically able to manage “every day” conflict in healthy ways and even reap its benefits? In many cases, no matter what your circumstance or how you may be dealing with it, the real treasure of grace is available to you and always will be because through baptism you are a member of Jesus’ family!
There was tension in the air when Jesus was with his family that day, not only because of the hot debate with religious leaders, but because of conflict with family members: Jesus knew that family life can often be stressful and intense, and that is so for every family. And yes, it makes all the difference to be able to face the conflicts of life as a member of Jesus’ family with a treasure that is real and can only come from him, grace.
Grace: it is for me, it is for you, it is for everyone!