As I do from time to time, I was surfing around the Patheos.com site the other day when I discovered this Druid (yes, Druid) message that was very similar to a Christian sermon I once preached.
The author was suggesting that family consists of three strands: "Those of blood (you get no say in them!), those of place (connecting you to wherever you are), and those of tradition (whom we choose)."
In my sermon, which I called "Water is Thicker Than Blood," I made the point that in both the story of Ruth in the Hebrew Bible and in a story in the New Testament, the idea of family gets stretched beyond blood relationships.
In the Ruth story, Ruth's mother-in-law, a Jew, and Ruth, a Moabite, become dedicated family members despite the fact that they aren't blood relatives.
Similarly, in Matthew 12, while Jesus is speaking to the crowds, "his mother and brothers stood outside trying to speak with him." When Jesus is apprised of this, he asks, "Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?" His answer, as he pointed to the people around him was: "Look, here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of my Fther who is in heaven is my brother, sister and mother."
In Christian terms, the water of baptism thus creates an eternal family that is thicker (more eternal) than the family created by blood.
I don't know much about the Druids and rarely write about them, but in this case I see some common ground with Jews and Christians.
(Would you have recognized the graphic here today as a Druid symbol?)
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MORE ON RELIGION AND THE INTERNET
I mentioned here on the blog the other day that a new study suggests increased Internet use is responsible, at least in part, for decreased adherence to religion in the U.S. I expressed a bit of skepticism. Now a British writer of this piece looks at the research and expresses some questions of his own. It's worth a look.
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P.S.: The annual AIDS Walk in KC is coming up and I'm working with my congregation to raise funds that support the AIDS Service Foundation here. If you can help even a little, click here and make a donation. Many thanks.