read | Mark 16:1
“When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint Him.”
On first read, this verse did not speak to me in any clear way. But when I meditated on it, I began to see a sense of sweet love and friendship in this little scene. I saw the three women carrying their burial spices along the road…Were they walking hurriedly, eager to anoint the lifeless body of their Master, anxious to just see their Friend one last time? Or were they walking slowly, arms locked in shared grief, dreading the encounter that would make His death real and permanent?
I don’t know. But I do know that however they did it, they did it together. They weren’t related, but they were family. And it was this sense of familial love that the Spirit led me to focus upon.
Christ taught us how to create a new, spiritual family: “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matthew 12:50)
He told us to love one another: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34 NIV)
God’s word instructs how to walk through life’s journey together: “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15)
There are many of us in Los Angeles who are far away from extended family. Today I focus on my spiritual family and how grateful I am to have those I can laugh and cry with; how even when I don’t “feel” very loving, I can choose to love my brother or sister for Him who commands me; and most importantly, how privileged I am to have Jesus include me as a member of His family.
- Charlie Shahnaian