Dear Dyersburg FUMC,
Part of Jesus’s message when he preached his first sermon in Galilee, at least as Mark tells it, is
“The Kingdom of God has come near”
It’s a curious proclamation. One would think that if God’s Kingdom was truly near then there would be no need to announce it. Wouldn’t God’s kingdom be apparent? Perhaps not. Perhaps that is why Jesus had to tell us that it was near. Perhaps it is only apparent if we are prepared to see it; if our hearts have been tuned to recognize it.
So how do we prepare to see God’s kingdom? We nurture our companionship with Jesus. We began talking about this several weeks ago as we scoured the first verses of Mark to discover what disciples do—how we respond to Jesus—and we found that Jesus, as he called his first disciples, was not simply looking for students but for companions. And Jesus wants us to be his companions, too. How do we nurture this companionship? In practices like prayer and meditation, reading the scriptures and worshiping in our faith community. We nurture companionship with Jesus by serving others. As we engage in these practices, asking the Spirit to form us and transform us into Jesus’s companions, we begin to see the world as Jesus sees it. We notice the things that Jesus notices, and we become dissatisfied with the parts of our world that are not as they should be.
Lent is the perfect time to experiment with practices that nurture our companionship with Jesus. If you don’t know where to start, let me suggest the devotional cards that we have made available both in hard copies, and on our Facebook page. Each card—one for each day of Lent—has a scripture to read, a prayer, and questions for reflection. If you would like the physical copies of the devotional cards please let Karen in the church office know and we will get them to you.
If you need any other ideas for ways to nurture your companionship with Jesus, please feel free to reach out. Sometimes getting started is the hardest part and I’d love to help.
I am grateful that we can nurture our companionship with Jesus together!