Tuesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Bill (my husband) and I just returned from a week we spent with our four children, two sons-in-law, and three grandchildren in a house on a lake in northern Wisconsin. Our time there was wonderfully blessed by cool mornings perfect for long hikes on the trails, sunny afternoons plenty warm enough for splash time on the beach, and breezy evenings well spent taking a bike ride or sitting on a bench watching an egret fish for dinner in a nearby bay. Other than the occasional challenge of one child wanting to be noisy just when another was finally settling down to sleep, everyone got along splendidly. There was much laughter and a whole lot of joy all week long. That’s pretty amazing for any family and perhaps especially for ours since our children didn’t grow up all together since they came to us via our previous marriages.
As our blessed week came to a close, I recalled a fishing vacation (if you can call it a vacation) that my family took back when I was in elementary school. Like ours last week, three generations were on the trip, and we all stayed together in one cabin. Oddly, the thin walls between the bedrooms didn’t go all the way up to the ceiling, so a sound in one bedroom traveled easily to all the others. That meant that the only person who got a good night sleep that whole vacation was my grandfather who snored really loud from the moment his head hit the pillow until he rose in the morning. Within a couple of days everyone (except my grandfather, of course) was exhausted. To say that tensions flared as we spent our nights awake and our days all together in one rather small boat trying to catch some fish is something of an understatement!
Blessed time like we had last week with family should never be taken for granted. It is such a huge gift. And it is a powerful reminder that God is good. Whatever is going on in our lives and the world around us, God is doing amazingly good things all the time. As the text from Micah tells us today, God is faithful and full of grace. We fail and screw up and hurt one another. And while God may be angry when we do, God is also faithful and full of grace—so much so that He will cast all of our sins into the depths of the sea. We are redeemed.
It is so fitting that in the text before us from Matthew, Jesus seeks to disabuse the crowds of the idea that his family is all about blood and marital relations. For Jesus, to be part of his family is all about doing the will of God right here and right now. And so, as I cherish the memories of our blessed week with our family I hear Jesus challenging me also to look beyond the bounds of even our blended family to his family—to the church and beyond that to all who are doing the will of God in this world. They are also my brothers and sisters and mothers. May I seek laughter and joy and peace and love with them as well. Amen.
- Sue Trollinger