Ministry of Presence  

Written by admin on Feb 02, 2018 in - No Comments

One of the lectionary text for this Sunday comes from Mark 1:29-39 and the first part of this text is a story of Jesus at the house of Simon and Andrew.

             After Jesus and his disciples left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.”

As I reflect on this story one of the things that jumps out is the fact that during this healing Jesus doesn’t say anything at all.  He merely shows up and took her by the hand.

I have been on a journey of discovering the art of showing up.  One of the things I didn’t do much at all as a high school pastor was visit the hospital.  I HATE the hospital, unless of course it is to celebrate the arrival of new life!  Over this past year I have been in the hospital around a dozen times.  When I go to visit someone from our church family I sometimes get a bit anxious on what I might say or how I can minister to the person with the health concern or to the family.

This story reminds me that showing up is the first step and perhaps the most important one.  Maybe showing up is enough.  Maybe there is no need to say anything.  Maybe what Jesus is revealing here is the power of the ministry of presence.

This is true not only with those who are ill.  This certainly applies to other people as well:  someone going through marital issues, parents with a wayward child, someone in nursing home care, the teenager desperate for a listening ear, those experiencing loss of some sort, the list goes on.

I believe the ministry of presence is alive and active in our church.  I have experienced this in our church when loss happens or when people are in a tough season and I just want to encourage you to continue in this pattern because it is a grace given to this church family.

However, at the same time I would encourage us to consider whom we might reach out to this week.  Lord, open our eyes to people who would benefit from Your presence through us.  How can we, like Jesus, show up and take someone by the hand.

grace and peace,

Eric