The Importance of With

photo by c. woodruff

photo by c. woodruff

for Sunday, June 15, 2014
Trinity Sunday
Father’s Day
Year A
lectionary focus: Matthew 28:16-20
inspiration: Wow. Sara Miles. (read this)
Sara’s inspiration: Samuel Wells.


Today’s Bible story includes the most important word in the Bible! Ohhh. I see lots of eyebrows going up and eyebrows coming together and puzzled faces as most of you are trying to figure out which word I’m saying is the most important word in the Bible. Some of you are thinking that it must be love or forgiveness or mercy or justice or God or Jesus or Holy Spirit. No. Not those words. They are definitely important, but the most important word in the Bible is with. What? Yes, you heard me correctly. I say that the most important word in the Bible is the word with. With is a simple word. With is a small word that means beside or together. Ahhhh. I think you are starting to see why I say that this little, simple word is the most important word in the Bible.

In our Bible story today, Jesus sends the disciples out into the world to share God’s love and tells them, Remember I am with you always. There’s that word! Jesus is WITH us always. Jesus does not promise that things will be easy or that we will always get what we want. Just this simple word with. Jesus is beside us always. We are together with Jesus always. He is here now. He is here later. He is here. And that is what God’s love is all about. With. Together. Never apart. Never alone.

A few weeks ago, I got a stomachache. I had some sort of virus and it made my stomach hurt. The doctor gave me some medicine to ease the pain but said it would just take some time for the virus to go away. My husband was great at taking care of me. A lot of the time I just lay there and moaned in pain. Mr. Bill would ask What could he do? He wanted to do something for me. He wanted to fix it. And there wasn’t any thing he could do. But it was nice just having him with me. And so he just sat with me.

When Jesus said this most important word in the Bible, I am with you always, He was showing us how to be Christians. He was showing us that simply being together, simply being beside each other, simply being with each other is how we show God’s love in the most simple, basic way.

He is with us always. There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. Near or far, happy or sad, healthy or sick, Jesus is with us always, with us, loving us.

Say this word after me: with (with). Amen.

Will you pray with me? (This is an echo prayer: the leader says a line and the children repeat it.)

Dear Lord,
Thank You
for being with me.
Help me
to be with You.
Help me
to be with others
and share Your love.

We are not Christians alone. (We are with each other!)
My mission is to share, inspire, and encourage.

4 responses to “The Importance of With

  1. So, the strange (haha and not so strange) thing is…I JUST finished reading Sara Miles’ book: Take this Bread, and then emailed her to tell her how much it touched me…and now, while preparing for Trinity Sunday and reading your post, I come across this. The Spirit seems to be at work! Thank you, yet again, for the work that you do to bring such delightful and insightful life to the lectionary for young people….it’s MUCH appreciated!

  2. I REALLY like this and I REALLY like Sara Miles! Thank you for including a link to her post.

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