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East Harwich, MA 02645
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1 Samuel 8:4-20 New Revised Standard Version

Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, “You are old and your sons do not follow in your ways; appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to govern us.” Samuel prayed to the Lord, and the Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. Just as they have done to me,[a] from the day I brought them up out of Egypt to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so also they are doing to you. Now then, listen to their voice; only—you shall solemnly warn them, and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”

10 So Samuel reported all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. 11 He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots; 12 and he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. 13 He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his courtiers. 15 He will take one-tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and his courtiers. 16 He will take your male and female slaves, and the best of your cattle[b] and donkeys, and put them to his work. 17 He will take one-tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. 18 And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

Israel’s Request for a King Granted

19 But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; they said, “No! but we are determined to have a king over us, 20 so that we also may be like other nations, and that our king may govern us and go out before us and fight our battles.”

2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1 New Revised Standard Version

13 But just as we have the same spirit of faith that is in accordance with scripture—“I believed, and so I spoke”—we also believe, and so we speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence. 15 Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

Living by Faith

16 So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. 17 For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, 18 because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

Mark 3:20-35 New Revised Standard Version

20 and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. 21 When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind.” 22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.” 23 And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. 27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.

28 “Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— 30 for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

The True Kindred of Jesus

31 Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters[a] are outside, asking for you.” 33 And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”


You Can Choose Your Friends
Mark 3:20-35
6 June 2021
The Rev Dr Dianne ES Carpenter

Story about the bus stop and the 3 people in the rain:  An elderly lady looking frail, your best friend and the person of your dreams… Only one will fit in the car…  Thinking Outside of the box … Like Jesus’ accusation of insanity.

After Jesus had chosen his disciples, as Mark reports earlier in this chapter, he went home to Galilee. His reputation followed him there and soon the crowds gathered to hear him and to see the mighty things he was doing. However, as this passage states: Jesus’ family and friends had seen enough.  The family went out to “restrain him, for people were saying, ‘He has gone out of his mind.’”

Perhaps this “intervention” was intended to save Jesus from himself… But it became clear that in addition to having chosen his friends with intentionality (and I am suggesting they were the disciples – even Judas) Jesus is looking to claim humanity as his friend and family based on the criteria:

“Whoever does the will of God
is my brother and sister and mother.”
Jesus gives some wonderful words of wisdom in this passage…

[1] We have choices to make and we need to understand that every choice we make has a relationship to our spiritual health.

What we eat, how we spend our time and resources, who we associate with are all reflections of our relationship to God.

Everyone wants it… Freedom to choose… Freewill… and Solomon asked for the best gift of all when he asked for wisdom… Because freewill and wisdom are a great combination!

You have probably heard the saying:  “you can pick your friends but not your relatives”… or experienced it…

Free will “You can choose your friends…” seems to be the logical extension of Jesus statement at the conclusion of this passage.   Jesus suggests that you can create a spiritual family by the criteria of “Whosoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

[2]  We cannot chose our family and they have a tremendous impact on our experiences in this world… We can become “differentiated” – when the individual grows up and we need to own our choices and “stand on our own two feet” at some point!  Thinking outside the box… parents have a box but sometimes we have to make different choices.

Adam and Eve were the first family.  They were to work together serving and loving God and loving one another.  Families are essential for they are the building blocks of communities and communities are the building blocks of nations.  But we MUST become differentiated contributors to the family – not just conforming but critiquing –Outside the box thinking

[3] And finally,    “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand.”  In So it is really important that the choices we make are reinforcing and consistent.   A home is much stronger if all the adults have the same focus than a situation where people are unable to share the priorities they have.

As the modern era has brought new definitions …. Family has undergone revision.  In addition to a husband and wife with children (biological or adopted) which was the traditional family: there has come a recognition that “family” is sometimes:

a single parent and child(ren)
A multigenerational unit
Persons in committed relationships – “partners” with or without children
Persons of the same gender raising child(ren) – married or not

Family In the Jewish experience of Jesus was the way people were connected to God – by blood – by circumcision – they were the People of God.  The people they lived among were forbidden to them.

How revolutionary!  A new definition for family not by blood but by actions by choice!:
“Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”

Sharing the life of a woman who had died recently.

Sharing from a letter from the family


This person was raised outside the traditional box…

1 Church St, Harwich, MA 02645
508 432-3734