Tuesday of 2 Lent – March 10, 2020

Read Mark 3:20-35

When I told my mother that I had left the Episcopal Church to join the CEC, she told me, “Don’t ever expect me to go to church with you again.”  People react negatively to things they don’t understand or things that challenge what they believe.  Mark experienced such rejection when Bar-Jesus, the Jewish prophet and magician in Paphos “withstood them, seeking to turn away the proconsul from the faith” (Acts 13:6-8).  So it was probably comforting to him to hear Peter relate the story of Jesus’ rejection by His own family.  Sometimes, we have to recognize that our family lines may be drawn with common faith rather than common blood, and that their rejection is a rejection of Jesus, not of us.

Rejection, though, is hard to accept, and the hatred that people express toward us because of our faith is seldom rational.  Nevertheless, Jesus warns us that it is to be expected.  Mark records that Jesus said that we could expect rejection, even from our own family.  “Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death;and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved” (Mark 13:12-13).

For many it is not enough just to disagree with you.  They will, like the scribes in today’s lesson, not only denigrate you and your integrity, they will lie about you.  And that is hard.  But Jesus said that we should expect that.  “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:18-19).  “But he who endures to the end will be saved.”  That is good news.  Pray that God will give you the grace and perseverance to stand fast in the faith.

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