We are just finishing the first week of the Advent season. This year we are looking at “A Legacy of Faith” and recognizing the many people who have become tiles in the mosaic of our lives.
Brothers and sisters can have a huge influence on the direction of our lives. They can point toward good choices, like following God. Other siblings give less honorable guidance, perhaps establishing a pattern of alcohol or drug abuse.
When I entered college, I became very confused by all the choices that lay before me. These included my academic major, the people I dated, and even the roommates I chose. My oldest brother, Richard, saw my confusion and paid for me to fly from New York out to California to attend a Christian conference. He had little money at the time, having just graduated from college himself. But he invested a large sum in his little sister. That week at the conference transformed the direction of my life. I turned my life over to Christ. I jettisoned the young man I was dating. I ended up serving with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Mexico.
Jesus also had siblings. He had a different experience from mine. In John 7, his brothers openly mocked him. His brothers said, “No one does anything in secret. If you really are doing such things as these, you should show yourself to the world.” Jesus’ brothers did not yet believe in him. But Jesus, the first born of Mary and thus the oldest brother, led them in a better way. By the time Jesus ascended into heaven, his brothers were gathering with other believers in the Upper Room. In Acts 1:14, we read, “They all met together and were constantly united in prayer, along with Mary the mother of Jesus, several other women, and the brothers of Jesus.”
Are there tensions in your family? Are there painful memories? Are there decisions you made that you now regret? Do you need to ask forgiveness? Or do you need to offer forgiveness to someone? Offer a prayer for healing in your family today.