|Rev. Ineke K. Mitchell, Northwest Central Regional Minister|
This week's author is the Rev. Ineke K. Mitchell, Valley/Northwest Regional Minister for the Connecticut Conference, UCC.
When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set towards Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, 'Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?' But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village.
As they were going along the road, someone said to him, 'I will follow you wherever you go.' And Jesus said to him, 'Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.' To another he said, 'Follow me.' But he said, 'Lord, first let me go and bury my father.' But Jesus said to him, 'Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.' Another said, 'I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.' Jesus said to him, 'No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.'
After a spirit filled day of "Synod in the City" and an incredibly rich worship experience on Sunday afternoon, it is not hard to decide to continue to follow Jesus. I am so proud to be part of our United Church of Christ. And yet, in the midst of all the joy and celebration I was reminded in so many ways of the cost of that discipleship. The work to be done will be hard -- (like manually plowing the fields) -- and at times very lonely (with no place to rest our weary heads and hearts). It will require focus and looking ahead. It will require letting Jesus lead the way and set the agenda. Witnessing the fervor of the faithful and the yearning for justice and peace will give us the courage and resolve to move into the future with hope. And when we gather in 2057 may the light still shine brightly.
Holy One, may we be transformed by the energy and spirit of these days of communion and community. May we follow you regardless of the cost. Amen.
Center Cong'l Church, Inc.
P The Rev. Terry A. Schmitt
PE The Rev. Newell H. Curtis Jr.
AP The Rev. Rose-Lee A. Petronella
IAP The Rev. Pamela Rose Vollinger
Second Cong'l Church
P The Rev. Kathy A. Faber
First Ch of Christ in Mansfield Cong'l
P The Rev. Lindsay L. Fulmer
Cong'l Ch of Marlborough
P The Rev. Robert G. Faulhaber Jr.
PE The Rev. James H. Ameling
CE Ms. Denise Peterson
Center Cong'l Ch of Meriden
P The Rev. George H. True
First Cong'l Church
P The Rev. John W. Clarke
The Spirit Calendar: June 25, 2007 by Rev. Ineke K. Mitchell, Northwest Central Regional Minister