the third sunday of easter
the PRAYER. . .
Eternal and all-merciful God, with all the angels and all the saints we laud your majesty and might. By the resurrection of your Son, show yourself to us and inspire us to follow Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
the READING. . .
After this [Jesus] said to [Simon Peter], “Follow me.”
the DEVOTION. . .
Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu was born in 1910 in present-day Republic of North Macedonia. At eighteen, she went to Dublin and joined the Sisters of Loretto. After a few months training, Teresa – as she was, then, known – was sent to Calcutta and for the next two decades, taught school. But it was for the work that came after that she would be best remembered. In the slums! Among “the poorest of the poor!” When given the Nobel Peace Prize, Mother Teresa was asked, “What can we do to promote world peace?” Her answer? “Go home and love your family.”
This week, Jesus tells Peter to follow him. But I can’t help but wonder if he isn’t saying the same thing. “Go home and love your family.” Following Jesus, for most of us, doesn’t mean mission trips to distant lands. For that matter, it doesn’t, even, mean mission trips to lands close by! Life, for most of us, is, simply, a matter of getting up… of going to work… of coming home… and of doing it all over again, the next day… It’s routine… monotony… boredom… This is where we live our lives! Not amid the extraördinary and exceptional, but among the humdrum and the everyday. But amazingly, that’s, exactly, where god comes to us! That’s, precisely, where god loves us! And that’s where we get to do the same! We don’t have to go out of our way! We don’t have to go anyplace different! All we have to do is love! Love right here! Love right now! Love where we already are! Maybe, sometimes, the best way of following Jesus is not going anywhere, at all!
Bob Barndt, pastor