Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12 (NRSV)
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Chapter 1Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, Verse 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. Verse 3He is the reflection of God's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,
Verse 4having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
Verse 5Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels. Verse 6But someone has testified somewhere, "What are human beings that you are mindful of them, or mortals, that you care for them? Verse 7You have made them for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned them with glory and honor, Verse 8subjecting all things under their feet." Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, Verse 9but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
Verse 10It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. Verse 11For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, Verse 12saying, "I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters, in the midst of the congregation I will praise you."
I was a young seminary student. He was a brand-new professor. I was not confident in challenging a teacher. He was making a name for himself, challenging long-held concepts. He was claiming there was no place for family language in faith communities, that we cannot claim to be siblings in Christ and with Christ. Still, I had always found great comfort in being a child of the Divine Parent and a brother to Jesus.
Now, some forty years later I can better understand the point he was trying to make. We do not have the power to make ourselves children of God. We cannot appoint ourselves to be siblings of Christ. But! (There is always a “but.”) But, today’s Scripture is quite clear about the relationship God has established with us in Christ: Jesus is not ashamed to call us siblings. (2:11)
Jesus claims me. Jesus makes me family. That’s good enough for me.
Thank you, Great Creator, for forming us into your family. Thank you, Savior, for claiming us. Amen.