Monday Musings for 8.31.20


Dear Friends,

I’ve been going through old pictures.  That’s what we do when a loved one dies.  I came upon a picture of my mom as an infant being held by an older woman.  Thank goodness my mom wrote on the back.  I wouldn’t otherwise have recognized her or the woman holding her.  The words she wrote on the back of this old picture were:  “Portland 1931, Great-grandma Clump and me.”

I got to thinking.  My mom was a great-grandmother.  She had to wait a long time, but she lived to see two great-granddaughters, Harper (age 2 1/2) and Bailey (born 6 days before she died).  So what is my mom’s great-grandmother to Harper and Bailey?  She is their great-great-great-great grandmother.  Four greats.

Have you ever heard of the “four greats” for followers of Jesus?  The first two come from the Great Commandment.  Jesus told us to (1) love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and (2) love your neighbor as yourself.

The third is the Great Commission:

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

The fourth “great” comes from words Jesus spoke often:  “Follow me.”  We might call this “the Great Invitation.”

I’ve been struggling with our extended time without Sunday worship in our building.  It has been a frustrating time for all of us, for many reasons.  But it occurs to me that no pandemic can get in the way of these “four greats.”  As followers of Jesus in Nampa First United Methodist Church, we can and we will:

1) Love God with everything we’ve got.

2) Love others at least as much as we love ourselves.

3) Make more disciples of Jesus.

4) Follow Jesus.  That means, don’t just ask “What would Jesus do?”  Do what Jesus did!

And remember what he told us:  “I am with you always.”  He is.

In Christ,