Greetings Alina, Carolyn, Carola, Fellow Students, Forum Friends, Members and Visitors,
The importance of family life is a prominent theme in the UB, especially a child's first years. Today's reading could hardly be more to that point:
“...Your whole afterlife will be more happy and dependable because you spent your first eight years in a normal and well-regulated home....” (1922.2)177:2.4
Paper 84 may have the most about the methods and benefits of raising our little ones in a wise and loving family:
84. Marriage and Family Life
1. Primitive Pair Associations
2. The Early Mother-Family
3. The Family under Father Dominance
4. Womans Status in Early Society
5. Woman under the Developing Mores
6. The Partnership of Man and Woman
7. The Ideals of Family Life
8. Dangers of Self-Gratification
In Section 7 of 84, there is this telling statement about the tremendous social and cultural importance of family:
...As are the families of the race or nation, so is its society. If the families are good, the society is likewise good. The great cultural stability of the Jewish and of the Chinese peoples lies in the strength of their family groups.... (939.4)84:7.1
In today's reading the Midwayers also assert that families can be either a stumbling block or the key to progress of the whole:
...the gospel of Jesus’ teaching, founded as it is on the father-child relationship, can hardly enjoy a world-wide acceptance until such a time as the home life of the modern civilized peoples embraces more of love and more of wisdom.... (1922.4)177:2.6
The Universe is founded on the integrity, love, and wisdom of the First Family, the Paradise association of Father, Son and Spirit. From them, all other families are derived. It's not always easy we well know. From Paper 3:
...We are all a part of the family of God, and we must therefore sometimes share in the family discipline.... (48.1)3:2.9
But it is always loving. From Paper 12:
...This very love of God for the individual brings into being the divine family of all individuals, the universal brotherhood of the freewill children of the Paradise Father. And this brotherhood, being universal, is a relationship of the whole. Brotherhood, when universal, discloses not the each relationship, but the all relationship. Brotherhood is a reality of the total and therefore discloses qualities of the whole in contradistinction to qualities of the part.... (138.5)12:7.10
Finally, in today's reading, the Midwayers mention the precariousness of 20th century families:
...Notwithstanding that parents of the twentieth century possess great knowledge and increased truth for improving the home and ennobling the home life, it remains a fact that very few modern homes are such good places in which to nurture boys and girls as Jesus’ home in Galilee and John Mark’s home in Judea.... (1922.4)177:2.6
So, are 21st century parents doing better? We can only hope, pray and work for the betterment of family life on our twice defaulted planet. It's not easy or simple, fathers are seldom ideal parents because their fathers weren't. Mothers all to often fail to portray the divine affection, because they simply don't know how.
It is also a great detriment to family life when religious leaders mislead their followers into strange ideologies of punishment, effete doctrines of a supposedly chosen people, race hatred, unreasoned prejudice, and even war-mongering. How can a family grow loving and wise without both parents and their leaders having discovered love and wisdom? How can a child think kindly of God the Father when his or her earthly parents, as well as leaders, in no way represent or portray our Universal Father?
With regard to his family, the Midwayers wrote this in Paper 129:
...The Son of Man had now made every preparation for detaching himself permanently from the Nazareth home; and this was not easy for him to do. Jesus naturally loved his people; he loved his family, and this natural affection had been tremendously augmented by his extraordinary devotion to them. The more fully we bestow ourselves upon our fellows, the more we come to love them; and since Jesus had given himself so fully to his family, he loved them with a great and fervent affection.... (1419.2)129:0.2
John Mark made quite an impression on history. But there is some confusion about just who he is. From Wikipedia:
Evidence for Mark the Evangelist's authorship of the Gospel that bears his name originates with Papias. Scholars of the Trinity Evangelical Divinity School are "almost certain" that Papias refers to John Mark. However, Catholic scholars have argued that identifying Mark the Evangelist with John Mark and Mark the Cousin of Barnabas has led to the downgrading of the character of Barnabas from truly a "Son of Comfort" to one who favored his blood relative over principles.
Mark the Evangelist
John Mark is named in Acts as an assistant accompanying Paul and Barnabas on one of their missionary journeys. By some he is regarded as identical with Mark the Evangelist.
In tomorrow’s reading, Section 3. The Day at Camp, the apostles become restless and afraid. Nathaniel berates them all for their half-heartedness. Then David Zebedee senses for a certainty the Master's end is coming and sends for Jesus' family to come to Jerusalem.
Overview of Paper 177 - WEDNESDAY, THE REST DAY
1. One Day Alone with God
2. Early Home Life
3. The Day at Camp
4. Judas and the Chief Priests
5. The Last Social Hour
This group of papers [121-196] was sponsored by a commission of twelve Urantia midwayers acting under the supervision of a Melchizedek revelatory director. The basis of this narrative was supplied by a secondary midwayer who was onetime assigned to the superhuman watchcare of the Apostle Andrew.
Listen to Paper 177: (click the speaker icon at the top of the page)
Thanks for reading. Members’ thoughts, reflections, insights, observations, comments, corrections and questions about today’s OPAD presentation are invited.
Much love, Rick/OPAD host.