I think just about every person who is part of a worship community refers to their ‘church family’ or something that sounds just like it. Being part of a family is something that is filled with positive feelings, nurturing presence, and loving attitudes.
So when can the ‘Church family’ be a negative thing?
When it means a closed, private, community where only those who know the right rules, do the right things, and accept the right beliefs are welcome.
In this week's Bible reading from Mark 3:20-35, Jesus was being ridiculed for the way he did things. His family may have been trying to rescue him, though it is more likely that they were trying to shut up his dangerous talk. And Jesus took the opportunity to let folks know that the church family isn’t a limiting kind of thing. Church family is one where no matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey – you’re welcome . . .
At least that’s what I heard.