Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Thursday, September 29, 2016


CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith for the Years of Winter

This morning I came across a delightful piece of poetry by Shirley Erena Murray, called “Who is My Mother, Who Is My Brother.” It is based on that intriguing story about Jesus’ relations with his relations. [Mt. 12:46-50; Mk. 3:31-35; Lk 8:19-21.]

His family thought he had gone berserk. After all, who goes around claiming to be the Messiah? That wasn’t exactly what he was doing, but close enough. So they went to get him and take him home, hide him in the attic, so he wouldn’t be embarrassing them anymore. A whole lot of family life is based on trying to escape embarrassment by relatives.

He was inside, teaching, and they didn’t even want to be seen with him, so they sent someone in to ask him to come out where they could grab him and secret him away. Folks told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside. They want you to come out for a little chat.”

Jesus saw it as a teaching moment, as he saw most moments. He asked, “Who is my mother? Who is my brother?”

Shirley Murray wrote a poem about it, and Jack Schrader put music to it, so it’s also a hymn, # 2225 in The Faith We Sing.

I haven’t gotten permission to reprint, because that takes so long I’ll be dead by the time it comes through, but you and I are the only ones who know I’m doing this, and if you don’t tell, I won’t.

Who is my mother, who is my brother?
all those who gather round Jesus Christ:
Spirit blown people, born from the Gospel
sit at the table, round Jesus Christ.

Differently abled, differently labeled
widen the circle round Jesus Christ:
Crutches and stigmas, cultures’ enigmas
all come together round Jesus Christ.

Love will relate us—color or status
can’t segregate us, round Jesus Christ:
Family failings, human derailings
all are accepted, round Jesus Christ.

Bound by one vision, met for one mission
we claim each other, round Jesus Christ:
Here is my mother, here is my brother,
kindred in spirit, through Jesus Christ.


I tweet as yooper1721.

I especially love the images of “Spirit blown people” and “human derailings.”

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