The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
John 19:25-27 provides a touching view into the personal life of Jesus, his family, and his disciples. As Jesus is on the cross we would expect him to be very busy. He would be busy dying. This isn’t usually a time for thoughtful communication. All but one of his apostles has deserted him. The only one remaining is “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” We have good reason to think this is John, the author of this Gospel account. There are a number of women present as well - Mary, Jesus’ mother, Her sister, another Mary, and another Mary. It was clearly a common name. Joseph is never mentioned during the adult life of Jesus. We can assume he has died by this time. Without Jesus, his mother has no means of support. Looking at the people around the cross, Jesus calls on the disciple he loves to care for the mother he loves. True to his Lord’s command, John takes Mary into his household and acts as her guardian.
One of the accusations lodged against Christians is that they don’t always seem to care for others. This is doubtless true. We confess regularly that we have not loved our neighbor as ourselves and that we have failed to do good. That’s no secret. Yet we have this tremendous example of care in Jesus. How do we do at taking care of our families? They are our very closest neighbors. We are to love them as ourselves. Certainly the Lord who made arrangements for his mother’s care would also urge his followers to care for their families. It’s a hard job sometimes, but by God’s grace we believe we can do it.
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