“For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” — Matthew 12:50
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The 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates won the World Series, defeating the Baltimore Orioles in seven games, in part by recognizing they were family inspired by the hit song “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge. Willie Stargell, the father figure affectionately named “Pops,” proclaimed “We Are Family” to be the Pirates’ theme song. During a rain delay in early June after a slow start to the season, the song was played over the stadium speakers. In just the right moment, “Pops” without hesitation declared it the team’s song for the rest of the year. It was a song that brought the team together, but also the community and Pirates fans everywhere. Faithful Pirates fans felt the excitement of being part of something bigger than themselves; they were part of the Pirates family.
Family relationships in our confused world today do not follow the same model. There are alternating concepts to what constitutes a family. But what all have in common is the sense of wanting to belong and be loved. Sadly, that is not the case in a lot of families, as relationships change due to many circumstances. As families here on earth struggle with the problems of the day, including rejection, it is comforting to know that we can be part of a family bigger than ourselves, the family of God.
Jesus talks in the New Testament about the change of relationships when we come to know Him. “While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him” (Matthew 12:46). Jesus was told about this, but He replied, “‘Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?’ Pointing to his disciples, he said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother'” (Matthew 12:48-50).
This was no disrespect to Jesus’ mother Mary or His brothers. They were still His earthly family. The point is, the spiritual relationship with Jesus is closer and stronger than any earthly family ties. It will be a relationship which will last through all eternity.
As children of God, we are brothers and sisters in the family of God. We are family.
— Loring Schultz
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