Who is My Family?

My wife, Denise in the white sweater with some of her staff at Christmas, 2016


During the Christmas season of holiday parties, I stopped by my wife’s office and among other things while glad-handing and making small talk with each of the guests, many of whom were former law clerks and interns who worked for her for one to two years at a time over a twenty-one-year period, I took photos of Denise and her staff. As I looked at the warmth of the smiles, it dawned upon me that for those who are blessed to work with other people, often the relationships we build at work are like creating another family. I have seen this in my own life. Some of the people I work with are like having another family.

Family is where we start. In many cases, family is where we end. Family represents the first group of relationships that matter. My wife’s family on her mother’s side is huge and getting larger. It has often occurred to me that for many of her family, their idea of a party is getting the family together. Not everyone has a large family. My nuclear family is realively small.

One of the things I have learned is that even though, “Blood is thicker than mud,” as the expression goes, there are people that we meet along the way who can be as close if not closer than our biological family.

There is a story in the life of Jesus when he is preaching and teaching at his home synagogue for the first time. The crowd is amazed with the authority with which he speaks. They cannot believe this is the son of Mary and Joseph, the carpenter’s son, who now for the first time in their presence is speaking with the authority and power of God. At the height of his message, perhaps as he is moving to the conclusion of his sermon, someone comes to Jesus and says, your mother, brothers and sisters are at the door waiting to see you. Jesus responds with a question: “Who is my mother, brother and sister? Those who do the will of God are my mother, brother and sister.”

Then Jesus’ mother and brothers came. They stood outside and sent a person in to tell Jesus to come out. Many people were sitting around Jesus. They said to him, “Your mother and brothers are waiting for you outside.” Jesus asked, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then Jesus looked at those people sitting around him. He said, “These people are my mother and my brothers! My true brother and sister and mother are those people that do the things God wants.” — Mark 3:31-35



Questions for Reflection?

  1. Who are the people who are most close to you?
  2. Are there any people in your life who are closer to you than your family? Why?
  3. What are your thoughts about the way Jesus responds when in the middle of his first sermon at his home synagogue, he is told that his family is at the door?


Prayer: Lord, I thank you for family, but I also thank you for friends and co-workers who are supportive, loving and kind. Bless me this day to be able to build upon the relationships that are meaningful and matter to me. Teach me to be kind, conversant and compassionate to all whom I interact with throughout the course of a day. Teach me to be more loving and help me to love my neighbor as I love myself. Through Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.


Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/