Be Still Know
Mark 1:20 NLT
He called them at once, and they also followed him, leaving their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired men.
Not long ago, Jayne and I spent 15 minutes in a ‘Lectio Divina’. We read a dozen verses from scripture, listened to what God might be saying to us and then talked over what we heard God saying, then briefly prayed. In the early verses of Mark’s Gospel I settled upon this verse describing how in response to Jesus’ call, James and his brother John left their father Zebedee. The leaving is abrupt and immediate, leaving Zebedee with hired workers.
There are a number of verses spoken by Jesus about family that sound quite brutal. As I processed my choice to pursue Christian ministry against my dad’s better judgement, I leaned upon such verses to create a moral high ground, or courage, for my decisions. While I enjoyed those ministry days as a new Christian, reflecting on them now, I wonder if I made the best choices, or implemented them kindly. Family, it seems, affords a great many opportunities to inflict wounds, often by creating a morality of convenience.
How might Zebedee have felt? Was his chest swelling with pride as his lads strode off in pursuit of the Nazarene? Or was he in a state of emotional flux, uncertain what they were committing to and aware that now the future of his family business was in jeopardy? What if James and John never returned to fishing? Of course, Jesus had abruptly to step from his Father’s embrace to live life on earth. Then there was the brutal separation between Father and Son created by the cross. Yet Jesus honoured his Father’s wishes, and redemption overcame the selfish separation of the power of sin.
Life can never be measured in the moment. Current decisions may appear completely different when viewed from the distance and perspective that age allows. I enjoyed the privilege of welcoming my father to Portsmouth to accompany him on his final walk on earth battling cancer. It was a time when the angst from our younger years was superseded by the companionship of this most profound experience of mortality.
QUESTION: How has your family helped or hindered your relationship with Christ?
PRAYER: Lord, as I walk into whatever lies ahead, shape and use me for your glory.