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Revd Sara's Reflections for w/c 9th June 2024

Revd Sara’s Reflection Sunday 9th June 2024

Bible Reading: Mark 3:20-35  

In today’s gospel reading, Mark 3:20-35, we encounter a profound narrative that challenges traditional ideas of what community looks like. It’s also a great passage for reminding us what it feels like to be misunderstood! For those on a journey of discipleship, this passage offers rich insights into identity, mission, and the meaning of true belonging.

The passage begins with Jesus being accused by his own family of being out of his mind and by religious leaders of being possessed by Beelzebub. This sharp misunderstanding from both family and religious authorities can serve as a reflection point for today. In your efforts to live out a radical, inclusive, and transformative faith, you too might face misunderstanding or resistance, even from those you expect to provide support.

Reflect on the moments when you have felt misunderstood in your beliefs or actions. How have you navigated these challenges, and what has this reflection taught you about patience, resilience, and clarity in your discipleship journey?

Perhaps the most striking element of this passage is Jesus’ redefinition of family: "Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother." This statement is uncomfortable for many of us, with our western understanding of the nuclear family. But it is an exciting call to recognise spiritual kinship that transcends family ties and societal boundaries. Reflect on how you define your "family" within your faith community. How inclusive is this family? How might you expand your notion of kinship to more fully embrace those who are committed to doing God’s will, regardless of their background, identity, or life story?

Finally, the analogy of a house divided, used by Jesus to refute the claims that Jesus is allied with Beelzebub, invites you to consider the importance of unity in your mission. In a world often marked by division, especially within the broader Christian community, consider how you can foster unity without compromising on the deep, sometimes radical values of the gospel. How can you contribute to a discipleship that builds bridges, heals divisions, and creates a strong, united community focused on the common good? May these questions and invitation into reflection challenge and inspire you in your journey of discipleship. May you find courage to face misunderstanding with grace, redefine kinship with inclusivity, uphold integrity in your spiritual discernment, and seek unity in your mission, that your life may vividly manifest the transformative love of God. Amen.

Responding in prayer As part of your response – you might like to pray these prayers, and ask these questions about the role of grace in your responses. - Where is the grace? - Are there ways I can extend more grace into this situation?

Lord Jesus, give me the courage I need to respond to the issues at play in the country I call home, the community I live in, in my own friendships and relationship circles. Help me to find: - Where is the grace? - Are there ways I can extend more grace into this situation? Lord Jesus, give me the courage I need. Gather my prayers Lord Jesus, and help me see the grace around me. Amen.

Blessing Out into the world I go, Knowing that the unending grace of God is there already, Knowing I can encounter you, O God, in all walks of life and all spaces and all people. Help me to notice The Christ in the people I meet this week, In Jesus name, go in peace, Amen.

love and prayers Revd Sara

(and don't forget our Mad Hatters Tea Party on 15th June at the Church - 10am to 12 noon!

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