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Being Part of a Family
In Jesus time, the little town of Nazareth had about 100 people. It was a hick town on a hill up north. Its never mentioned in Scripture until Jesus is associated with it.
As towns and society were back then, most everybody in that town would have been a relative of Jesus. In the Mideast, especially back then, families and extended families lived in light quarters, near one another, and were part of each others lives.
We can forget about our images of Jesus quietly sitting with his father, Joseph, in the carpenter shop, watching him make a chair. Jesus was thrown together with cousins, in-laws, people of all kinds and rubbed elbows with them. He was in the thick of family and there was no getting away from it.
If, over the holidays, you experience a large family get-together, thats what Jesus experienced every day of his life until he left Nazareth.
Family life requires a lot of indirect kindness that you hope will have an effect. Maybe it wont. But you just try to be kind and understanding, and you just do your best. You cant directly move in and change things. And to be honest, the chemistry in an enormous extended family cant all be good.
But society cant do without families. Theres never been a society in the recorded history of the human race, that was worth anything that didnt have family, and families that managed.
And thats what were all part of. Thats what we celebrate on this Holy Family Sunday. Jesus was part of that kind of an extended group, in close quarters.
The Lord has been there. He knew what that was like.