“A woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about [Jesus], and she came and bowed down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter”
The woman in today’s gospel reading from Mark knows exactly what she is looking for. She is looking for Jesus. And, more particularly, she is looking for Jesus so that he can heal her daughter of the unclean spirit. After an interesting theological exchange, the woman finds what she was seeking. Jesus heals her daughter.
I wonder, “What am I looking for on this Rally Weekend?” “What are you looking for from your participation at St. John’s?” “What is the world looking for from the Christian church in this increasingly complex 21st century?”
My fervent hope is that, at least on some level, the answer to each of these questions is the same as that of the Syrophoenician woman. My fervent hope is that each of us—you, me, and the world—is looking, searching, yearning, either consciously or unconsciously, for Jesus and all that Jesus brings—healing, hope, forgiveness, love, mercy, grace, new life, justice . . . the list goes on and on.
On this Rally Weekend, we here at St. John’s are kicking off a new ministry called Connect. Created and written by Pastor Adam, Pastor Pam, and myself, Connect is designed to help us grow together in our relationships with Jesus, with one another, and with the world around us as we spend six weeks this fall exploring the question, “What are you looking for?”
How does Connect work? We currently have 14 pairs of trained Connect leaders ready to lead a Connect Huddle, each comprised of 6-8 disciples at St. John’s. This weekend and next, we are asking every disciple at St. John’s to consider signing up to participate in one of these Huddles. Each Huddle will meet once a week for six consecutive weeks. You choose the Huddle whose meeting time and meeting place work best for you. Then, beginning the week of September 23, each Huddle will spend their weekly meeting watching a short video by one of the pastors and then sharing in guided conversation around the topic lifted up in the video. Our six themes this fall include:
Week 1 – Looking for Belonging
Week 2 – Looking for Identity
Week 3 – Looking for Relationship
Week 4 – Looking for Community
Week 5 – Looking for Security
Week 6 – Looking for Purpose
On Saturday, November 3, after the six weeks are complete, everyone who participated will be invited to a Connect Celebration to share in food, fellowship, and story-telling about what we experienced.
If you are looking for Jesus in your life, which I certainly hope includes each and every one of us, then I invite and encourage you to sign up for a Connect Huddle this fall. Come and see how Jesus will find you wherever you are. Come and see how being an active participant in the community of faith can strengthen and encourage you. Come and see how Jesus is waiting to heal you. What are you looking for? COME AND SEE!!!
Come and See +