Life is tough for main line churches in this country and in many places the western world. Once we knew our place. We were respected. People looked to us for some kind of leadership. We had a place in society. But now things are tough. Apart from a few growing churches, most of us are struggling to hold our own. Many are not. We are struggling to work out our place and what it means to be successful. Actually most of the time we are struggling just to survive.
And then we have this Sunday’s gospel reading – Mark 3: 20-25. This is Jesus being successful. And the response is mixed. Yes there are a significant number who want to be near and squash around him. But there are those who are much more sceptical. His family think he is out of his mind and want to rescue him from himself for their own sake. And the religious elite condemn him as in league with the evil one. Infatuation and scorn seem to be the response of Jesus ministry. And through it all he keeps living “God’s agenda of restoring people to wholeness so that they could take their place again in creation and be free”[1]
How does any of this help us think about what being successful looks like?

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