You’ve Got a Friend

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In my Bible reading I’ve been pondering Jesus’ resurrection actions and community. I know that all 4 Gospels have a different audience, etc. but in the midst of all this with Narcie I am really struck by the end of Luke & John’s Gospels. The other Gospel writers pretty much stop with the actual resurrection unless you count the brief, but important meeting at the end of Matthew where Jesus lays on them “The Great Commission,” or stop at verse 8 at the end of Mark with the two Mary’s hearing the Easter news but filled with fear.

Anyway what strikes me in Luke and John is how Jesus shows up as the Disciples are together. In Luke the community is the two on the road to Emmaus that He breaks bread with; then the rest of the Disciples. Sounds pretty simlar to “wherever two or more are gathered in my name,” doesn’t it? Then there’s John’s account where Jesus first appears to solitary Mary which reminds me of Narcie all alone in a strange hospital in Virginia hearing that she has a brain tumor. Then in John, Jesus appears to the whole crew, then back to the individual Thomas who had his doubts and wasn’t with the whole group when Jesus first appeared, which reminds me of some of my frets when I am alone with all of the “what if’s.”

But then I really get into John’s account. He has Jesus going fishing with the Disciples in Galilee, with the charcoal ready for the fish. John ends his resurrection account of Jesus with Peter being restored to the community and calls him to take care of the rest of the community: “Feed my lambs,” “Take care of my sheep,” and “Feed my sheep.”

Man, if you don’t get anything out of the junk that happens to you, you’d better get this: You’re not in it alone. I have seen the personal facebook notes to Narcie, the Prayers for Narcie Jeter group page on Facebook, the emails and facebook comments to me, and have received phone calls and hugs to boot. Ain’t it true that there are no Lone Ranger Christians? We are in community. We have each other. We support each other. We pray for each other. Together, like John’s message, I think, we best reflect the truth that Jesus is alive when we’re together. Sure, He is with us when we’re alone, but He wants US to know, not justthe “little ole me’s” of the world. There’s strength in numbers and Jesus shapes us into a body/church that works best when we’re working together. I want to thank you for your being signs of the resurrection for me and my family. Carole King’s song, “You’ve got a Friend” keeps whirling in my head. Have a listen and remember, He’s alive, in US. In United Methodism’s terms, we call it “Connectionalism.”

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4 thoughts on “You’ve Got a Friend

  1. >Thanks for your words, Tim. As I listened to Casting Crowns I prayed that you would continue to embrace "Truth." There are no words at a time like this. Just a touch, the sound of a voice, and the breath of God's Spirit. Hold tight to each moment. I lift you and your family. Tim McConnellLake Junaluska

  2. >Wanted to let you know that our prayers are with you and Cindy. Hope you can feel our loving arms around you and those of all your friends both near and far. Susan and Ed Castle(Carrington's parents)

  3. >Dr. Tim,We just found out about Narcie.Steve and I want you to know that we hold Narcie and your family in our prayers. We are just a phone call away. Please know we are here for you all.Steve and Leslie Couick

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