Topic: Responsibility
Written By: Rev. Dr. John Regan

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?” Genesis 4:9 (NRSV)

One of the most difficult things to learn as we are growing up is that with new relationships come new things we are expected to do. As the youngest of three brothers I have been reminded throughout my life of the sacrifices my two older brothers had to make because of me—“the little brother.”

There were times they had to babysit me while my parents ran errands. There were times they had to come to my baseball games “because this is what families do.” For most of my childhood I got the best of the “brother commitments” because I was the youngest. Imagine my shock when my parents missed my baseball game because they were attending my oldest brother’s graduation. I distinctly remember sitting in the stadium, in my baseball uniform, until my brother walked across the stage and then I ran to the baseball field two blocks away to join my baseball team in the third inning.

Another relationship that I did not like growing up was the responsibilities associated with having guests in our house. I was not a fan of sharing my toys, but my mother insisted that was the cost of having friends over. I also learned I was responsible for serving guests before I got to eat or to drink something. The responsibilities of hosting someone in your home was a reminder that home and hospitality were to be shared liberally.

Our Christian faith redefines all of our human relationships. And the responsibilities that come with being a Christian can often be tiring and inconvenient. They also can be the most rewarding and memorable things we do with our lives. This is probably why most of us are drawn by Christ into these deeper relationships and broader responsibilities.

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