O Brother, Where Art Thou?


Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” [Genesis 4:9]

This is a series about our everyday horizontal relationships, what we might call our sibling connections.  And we are not just talking about our flesh-and-blood siblings, but our brothers from other mothers, and our sisters from other misters.  In other words, we want to talk about getting along in the world.

One of the earliest human questions is “Am I my brother’s keeper?”  While the answer to that question should be clear, it is actually worked out over the entirety of the Scriptural story, from Cain and Abel, to Jacob and Esau, and on into the community of Jesus.  To be a brother or a sister implies that we are meant to be helpers and advocates, loyal supporters and friends.  Sadly though, as both the biblical and human stories teach us, things get complicated.

So how can we move back to the simple joy of having and being brothers and sisters?  Sibling relationships are meant to be the source of some of our greatest joys.  So let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. (Rom. 14:19, MSG)

suggested series Scripture reading: the book of Genesis is hugely about sibling relationships: Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers.