Have you ever thought about Jesus’ earthly family? Oh, I know we know about the parents, those chosen by God for a special purpose. We sing and ask Mary if she knew, if she understood when she looked at that tiny face in the manger that He was Lord of all Creation.
But what about the rest of the family, the brothers who grew and played alongside of Jesus. I love that scripture allows us to know a little bit about a couple of them: James and Jude. Many scholars believe these brothers of Jesus are the ones who wrote the books that bear their names. Neither of them says “Oh, look at me. I’m the brother of the Lord.” Both claim to be His servants.
I read Jude’s letter this morning. It doesn’t take long to get through the concern that he felt for his fellow Christians, to feel his care for them and for the true calling of Christ.
Verses 20 and 21 offer us a stark contrast to the dissension he warns of in the other verses. “But you, dear friends, carefully build yourselves up in the most holy faith by praying in the Holy Spirit, staying right in the center of God’s love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!”
Faith, love, mercy, real life. Jude summed up the Gospel in just a few words.
Standing in the center of God’s love, we spread our arms wide open and are ready for God’s mercy — mercies that are new every morning, and He offers us the gift of real life.
Praise be to God!