Third word from the cross


Third word from the cross


By Sandi Rice

Originally posted March 27, 2014, at I’m Christian. I’m Gay. Let’s Talk. Republished with permission of the author.

Note: Sandi Rice is a guest columnist for David Eck’s blog.

“Family,” it is a word that has many different meanings for people. For some, it refers to biology — the group of people into whose lives we are born. For others, it is about choice — it is the group of people with whom we have chosen to surround ourselves. Whatever the definition — family is a complex reality in many of our lives.

The same was true for Jesus. Family was complicated for Jesus. The question I have is, where was Jesus’ family at the crucifixion? Scripture tells us that his mother was there as well as a few others including an aunt, a friend and the beloved disciple. But where was the rest of his family?  Scripture is either silent on their presence or they were not there.

How is it that — during this horrific time of suffering and unbearable pain — Jesus’ family was not present? The reasons we could speculate are many. One of the more likely reasons was fear. Fear of being associated with a criminal, fear of having to witness a horrific death on a cross. But it is only speculation as to why they were not present.

For many of us — we know what it is like to not have family present for us during life’s most agonizing times. Whether they live too far away, or there is strain in the relationship — sometimes we just don’t show up for each other in times of need.

However, I want us to look around our sanctuary. Behold here is our family — and a blended family at that! Whether we have biological relatives in the room or not, here is our family of faith. We have an incredible opportunity in that we are called to accompanying one another on life’s journey. Often it is in the ordinary that we travel. It is in the times in which we are called to bear witness to incredible pain and hardship, however, that the true bonds of our family ties are forged! Our family of faith — we are blessed indeed.

Find a link to David Eck’s blog I’m Christian. I’m Gay. Let’s Talk. at Lutheran Blogs.

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New kids in the Holy Land
Our spiritual pilgrimage
The Way of the Cross

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