Dear Dyersburg FUMC Family, 

During the season leading up to Lent, we are going to be journeying through the beginning of Mark’s gospel to learn more about Jesus’s early ministry. Last Sunday we heard the story of Jesus calling, Andrew, Simon, Philip, and Nathanael in John’s gospel. This week we will stand by as Jesus calls Andrew, Simon, James, and John (spoiler alert: John and Mark do not tell the same story about the call of Andrew and Simon). In these stories we have—and we will—come up with a rudimentary definition of a disciple: A disciple is one who walks with Jesus. 

I was meeting with a good friend and colleague just this morning, and she said something to the effect of: I don’t want to just believe; I want to be a believer. What she meant was that it’s not enough simply to proclaim what we believe in; telling others what we believe in is pointless unless we also act as though we believe. For Christians, the details of being a believer are vast, but they all center around the willingness to give our hearts to Jesus and to follow wherever he leads. 

Perhaps it is good to ask ourselves, Are we willing to trust Jesus and Jesus’s way more than we trust anyone or anything else in our lives? And if we are, what is the fruit of our discipleship? How would anyone observing us or interacting with us know that we are following Jesus? Or maybe we are satisfied with simply saying that we believe. 

Over the next few weeks I encourage you to read the entirety of Mark’s gospel. At a chapter a day you can have it finished in a little over two weeks. Read it with your family in the mornings or evenings, or read it on your own and then talk with others about what you’ve read. Pay particular attention to what you learn from Mark’s gospel about what it means to be a disciple; what it means to follow Jesus. My prayer for us is that as we grow and learn together, we will learn not simply what it means to believe, but what it means to be a believer. 

With excitement for the journey, Mary Beth