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Viewpoint from Rev Andrew King 01/04/2022

ANDREW KING 2022Rev Andrew King
Co-Superintendent of the Norfolk Broads Methodist Circuit

Minister of Acle, Fleggburgh, Freethorpe, Lingwood, and Thurne

At the end of January we had a special service at Magdalen Way Methodist Church when the Rev Donna Dodson was received as an Associate Minister in the Methodist Church. Within that service we watched the song “This is Me” from the film “The Greatest Showman”
In the film when Barnum is down on his luck, his 'family' those who work for him at his circus, rally around him to remind him that they were regarded as outsiders even freaks to the world at large, but he had made them a family. He has given them a purpose in life and confidence to rejoice in who they are
dove leftI would like to think that Jesus makes us into a family, even though we are all very different, and that he has given us a purpose in life and confidence to rejoice in who we are, whatever other people might say about us
The Bible reminds us we are One Family – that there is no difference between Jews and non-Jews (i.e. whatever race we are, we are the one human race), male and female, slave or free (we might say today rich or poor)  for we are all one in Christ Jesus
Yet it is not always easy being one family. All families have their fall-outs and disagreements at times, and at one point in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus seems to be in disagreement with his family as his mother and brothers have to send someone in to call him. I believe it was out of love and concern for their son and brother that Mary and his brothers wanted to talk to Jesus, because they knew that he was making waves and that he had made some enemies who were looking to do whatever it would take to bring him down. What Mum or Dad, or sibling, would not want to keep their child or sister or brother safe?
Dove rightYet Jesus seems not to go out to them, and instead looks at this group of people sitting in a circle around him, and declares that whoever does God’s will is Jesus’ mother, brother or sister
Jesus says if you do God’s will you are a part of my family, whoever you are, and wherever you have come from
To help us understand his saying, we need the context in which it was said. Just before this the so-called Religious Experts had come to check Jesus out. Even though they saw all the good he was doing, the way he healed and helped people and the good thought provoking stories he told that made people think and hopefully changed their minds and hearts for the better; they concluded that he was only doing this because he was in league with the devil to do it
Sadly today there are still people who believe good is evil; and evil is good – and we have sadly seen this by Russia invading Ukraine. People who want to divide us will play on prejudice and fear, who don’t want us to be one family
dove leftDoing God’s will is going the extra mile, including people the world excludes, speaking out against injustice, showing mercy love and forgiveness. In our broken and fractured world, and even our own nation which is divided in many ways, we all have to work hard to remain united as one family
Yet protecting your family can be costly. Another image from Jesus is that of a mother hen who when she sees danger protects her chicks under her wing so the predator attacks the mother rather than her young, or if a fire sweeps through the barn the mother may have to give her life so under her charred body the chicks survive
The Easter story is about Jesus who dies to protect and save all of us, and rises again to show us the victory of love and life
Jesus invites all of us to be a part of his family, he will turn nobody away. What is stopping us from being a member of his family?



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