The Gospel readings on Sundays lately have been full of rich metaphors for Christ: the Good Shepherd who lays down his life for the flock, the vine for us branches, and next week Jesus will call us his friends. What strikes me about all of these images is how relational they are. In other words, Jesus has been teaching us that a life of faith is primarily about relationships. Not just our relationship with him, but our relationship with each other, as friends, as a garden, as a flock (or to echo our St. Mark mission statement, as a family).
The more I do this work, the more convinced I am that community is everything. None of us can go it alone. We need each other. And the more we find ourselves in authentic, supportive community, the more we find ourselves in relationship with God, and vice versa.
In “normal” years (whatever that means anymore), these warmer months as we move into summer are usually a quieter time for us as a congregation. Being less busy is a blessing and an opportunity – doing less allows us to just “be” more, and it is in that being that we can simply rest in the presence of God.
So in these remaining weeks of Easter, I wonder how we can be intentional about cultivating these relationships – with Christ, and with the Christian community (and the many other communities to which we belong!). Now is always a good time to intentionally build prayer and devotional time into each day (whatever that needs to look like for you). You can also join any of our virtual or in-person offerings during the week, or schedule a time just to check in with me 1:1 – I’d love to hear how you’re doing!
In any case, permit me to remind you of the Good News of Easter: Christ has risen for you. And you are called and claimed to be part of this new life we share together – to belong.
Pastor Ian Hill