How this must have stung their ears because in their culture family was everything. Family gave you your “identity.” You knew your place in the society and how to act and interact with others based on your identity, which was rooted in your family.
So to renounce your family would be tantamount to renouncing your identity. Which, it seems, is exactly what Jesus was attempting to do -- to help his disciples to let go of their old identity and to develop a new identity as his disciples, as members of a new family. The family of disciples of Jesus Christ.
To do this Jesus wanted them to leave behind their old life and all its trappings and to be willing to walk with him, knowing that it would be a difficult journey. It was all about living their discipleship and putting it into action each and every day...full on, all the way!
Membership in this “new family” would now be the source of their new identity, the source of knowing how to act and interact with others, and to come to know what their mission in life now was.
And during this “Season of Creation” as we examine our relationship with Jesus Christ, we need to examine our relationship with the earth as well!
We need to examine how we live on the earth and how we “use” the earth; how we consume things and what we consume. Our consumption impacts not only the earth itself but it impacts our sisters and brothers, especially those living in developing countries.
Many of the items we buy and use have their source in the developing world, and are made by poor workers living and working in inhumane conditions. Far too often children are exploited and abused while making the products that we in the West buy and wear or items we use in our homes or businesses.
The pollution created by the making of so many of the items we buy and use on a daily basis is driving the climate change crisis.
And, as we have seen here in our own country and in Europe, India, Pakistan and many parts of Africa, severe droughts and historic flooding and raging wildfires are destroying, not only people’s homes and towns, but taking their lives as well. Climate change is very real and we need to act now!
As we begin the Season of Creation there are many things for us to reflect on, to find actions that we can begin to take or continue taking that become “our active caring for creation”.
We all need to take a hard look at our own carbon footprint and spend time researching how we can reduce our carbon footprint as part of our active caring for creation. At the same time, we need to be engaged on a larger level actively working for policies that will help reduce our nation’s role in this man- made climate crisis.
Being good disciples means being good stewards of “our common home”.
How does my membership in “the family of disciples of Jesus” inform my daily actions and interactions with others and with the earth? How do I keep God at the center of my busy daily life?