Dear Friends in Christ,
What is the fundamental practice of Jesus’ disciples?
There could be a lot of answers to this question. The bible tells us that Jesus asked his friends
to go do a lot of things: teach, heal, forgive, serve. All of these are important tasks for those of
us who want to follow Jesus.
But there’s something more basic, something that Jesus modelled as well as taught. Jesus
invited his disciples to the practice of being together.
If you look at how Jesus spent his time, he was much more about companionship than
efficiency. He taught and he healed, but that teaching and healing usually came against the
background of simply hanging out. Jesus did a lot of seemingly aimless wandering around and
visiting people’s houses for dinner.
Togetherness was Jesus’s explicit hope for his disciples. In John’s gospel, he repeatedly prays for unity.
It’s important to remember that being together is not only the inward-looking act of
community. It is also how Jesus connected with outsiders: with the poor, with those who had
been excluded because of race or disability.
We are invited to do what he did.
I want to suggest some easy places to start:
- Attend this Sunday’s bilingual service at 10:00 a.m. It’s always a little bit of a challenge
to worship in a language that is not your own. But it is also a chance to draw close, at a
spiritual level, to one another.
- Come to this Sunday’s parish picnic. This is an easy one! After so much time distanced,
we can celebrate together, enjoying one another—and meeting our new priest, Father Santi.
- Go for a walk. I especially encourage you to do that in Grace’s own neighborhood. Stop
in one of the bakeries or buy fruit on the street.
- Connect with someone you haven’t seen at church. Many long-time Grace members
have not returned to in-person worship, and I suspect a lot of us still feel isolated and
disconnected. Pick up the phone and call someone, or (lower bar) shoot off a text.
There’s no agenda. But simply acknowledging that we are thinking of one another matters.
I am blessed to practice being together with you. I pray that Christ will dwell richly with us all.
Yours in Christ,