Sunday, June 10, 2012

Is Blood Thicker Than Water?

Today's reading from Mark 3:20-35 contains that famous line from Jesus, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" When "blood" is used in terms of hereditary relationship, and "water" is thought of in terms of the water of Baptism, or the living water of Christ, I am led to reframe another famous question, "Is blood thicker than water?"

Of course, it all depends on what you mean by "thickness."

In terms of the Church, water should win hands down, but how many times do we still seem to get it wrong? Handled poorly, family feuds can wreak a Church.

This past week I was watching a movie about the Hatfields and McCoys and their infamous feud. It did not appear to be a pleasant movie, and I had to turn away, but the basic premise seemed to be that this is what happens when a group of people believes that blood is thicker than water.

Jesus' life, death, and resurrection show us what to expect when we finally see that there is a water that is thicker than blood.

"But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." (John 4:14)
Church feuds over human sexuality, biblical revisionism, or doctrinal disputes are not simple family feuds, and they cannot be resolved by merely asking people to live together despite their differences. They are more often cases of one group determining that the other has been drinking water from the wrong well.

With so many wells out there, where does one find that living water?

1 comment:

  1. I think there has to come a point where the "shaking of dust from sandals" begins. Otherwise, one winds up putting one's family's spiritual health at risk. It doesn't have to be ugly, of course, and I don't think Christ would want us to act like Hatfields and McCoys.