Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Come go with me

In the Gospel of Mark, John the Baptist speaks of the coming of Jesus to the people in this way: "The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit." (Mark 1:7-8)

Jesus reached out to twelve ordinary individuals and invited them into a companionship that would change their lives and, eventually the world, at the beginning of his Galilean ministry. He said, "come follow me and I will make you fish for people."  

Preaching and healing followed this invitation…and then more healing and teaching. There were times when people did not believe and rejected his teaching.  Thousands were fed.  There were miracles. There was institution of the Lords Supper.  There was prayer…a lot of prayer.  

Jesus was betrayed, brutalized, denied, and mocked. 

His crucifixion and death did not end the Gospel story. The good news is that sin and death do not have the last word. 

We believe in and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Mark’s gospel concludes with the commissioning of the disciples—those who were invited to come and follow Jesus.

Go into all the world and proclaim the Good News.

What is the business of the church if it is not to invite people to come and follow Jesus, and then grow and go?  Grow in faith and witness.  Go in love and service. 

Therefore Go and be about the ministry of disciple making and world transforming

News flash: everyday lives are being blessed by the church that you are a part of! 
  • We are still receiving money and saving lives through Imagine no Malaria Iowa. 
  • Children and adults are baptized and people are professing faith in Jesus Christ. 
Challenges point to opportunities and our shared ministries remain strong. We can do so much more together than any one church can do, separately. 

While there are a few who are stuck on a narrative of permanent decline and scarcity and issues that divide, I believe in God’s faithfulness! 

I wrote a letter to the Ministry Cabinet and Conference Connectional Ministries Council during Advent 2011. With a few changes I make it available for your reading as a part of our Lent 2015. (Click here for the letter.  http://www.iaumc.org/files/fileslibrary/communications-news/ccmcmembersscript3-2-2015.pdf 

Why we are connected in mission: We are Jesus' house. " Christ, however, was faithful over God's house as a son, and we are his house if we hold firm the confidence and the pride that belongs to hope." (Hebrews 3:6) 

We bear fruit when we are connected to the true vine (John 15:4,5)

Be encouraged

Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble

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