The Family Way… July 19, 2013

Jonathots Daily Blog

(1947)

angy kitchenAt first consideration, one would not think that Jerry Springer, the PTL Club, MSNBC and Fox News have much of anything in common.

But having great fun in the middle of the night, awakening from sleep, and doing a little channel surfing on the old TV, I found that all four of them, in the process of a few moments, espoused an identical declaration:

“It’s all about family.”

Even though the words came out of the mouth of a former crack-addicted mother, a black preacher, a liberal lesbian newscaster and a blond bimbo, they were still exactly the same wording and rhetoric.

Matter of fact, I would say that those words are what you would call a “safe haven” for anyone to speak if they wanted to evoke applause.

But doing a little figuring, assuming that there are eight billion people in the world and growing, if each little family consists of about four to eight individuals, then we would have one billion non-connecting units on planet earth, who are mainly concerned about their clump of four to eight people.

Does that frighten you? Does the notion of one billion renegade troupes of human souls, focused only on their own well-being, put a chill down your spine?family studio

But once again, ironically, we refuse to reference Jesus’ feelings and attitudes on this issue, even though we claim to be a Christian nation. So let me refresh you:

  • When Jesus was informed that his family had arrived “to see him,” he turned, pointed to the crowd and said, “These are my family. Anyone who does the will of my Father is my mother, sister and brother.”
  • During his Sermon on the Mount, he warned us that if you only love those who love you, you are no better than the heathen.
  • He gave another stern admonition to his disciples, warning that often our worst enemies are those of our own households.
  • He selected twelve disciples with not a brother, sister or cousin among them, mainly because his family members had rejected him.
  • And he closed out his philosophical insights on this subject by saying, “If you don’t hate your mother and father, you are not worthy of the Kingdom.”

Now I do understand that these are all subject to interpretation. Some folks would even say I am taking them out of context. But the sheer glut of evidence lets us know that Jesus wanted us to expand our vision of family to include the entire brotherhood and sisterhood of humankind.

I have an absolutely fabulous family. I would not use the word “proud” in describing my sentiments about them–their lives are their own and I should not garner kudos for their accomplishments. Christmas jassBut I will tell you this–I have often upset those immediate kin of mine by including more people into my circle as family than they deemed necessary.

I have three sons who were born of my seed and three others that I took into my home and adopted.

I have young people all over the country I have supported with prayer and encouragement, who I feel close to because I include them in my family.

The notion that we can continue to shrink our vision of fellowship and treat the rest of human beings as either peripheral OR superfluous will cause us to become a more closed society, wracked with indifference.

Here are my three suggestions:

1. Love your family by finding other people who remind you of your family and love them equally.

2. Don’t cut more slack to your family than you do to other people; otherwise, you are on a dangerous road to hypocrisy.

3. Teach your children to love people because they are God’s creation instead of the fact that they’re “your creation.”

The “family way” of doing things in this country is a sly trick, designed to keep us insulated from feeling the pain of others.

If we don’t increase our vision, don’t be surprised if we become blind to the need.

 

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