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  • Eric Marshburn

March 2024

“My kingdom,” said Jesus, “doesn’t consist of what you see around you. If it did, my followers would fight so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. But I’m not that kind of king, not the world’s kind of king.” Then Pilate said, “So, are you a king or not?”  Jesus answered, “You tell me.”  John 18

 

I once read a story about a man who was stopped by a security guard as he walked down the street one evening. He was near a series of warehouses. As the man approached his post, the guard asked him: “Who are you, and what is your business here?” Startled by the question, the man paused for a moment and told the guard his name. Then, he asked the security guard how much he was paid to perform his guarding duties. The security guard reluctantly told him. That’s when this man offered to pay the guard twice the amount he was currently making. All the security guard would have to do was quit his job and come and work for him. “But what would I need to do to earn that much salary?” the guard asked. The man answered, “Every time you see me, I want you to ask me, “‘Who are you, and what is your business here?’” These are two significant questions all of us can ask ourselves. The questions work for churches just as well as they do for individuals.

 

During the fall/ winter of each year, each clergy sit down in conversation—otherwise known as, “consultations” –with their District Superintendents. During one of these sit downs with the DS, we began our discussion around “The Wheel of Life” chart (pictured below), which we were asked to complete prior to our consultations. The intent for all of us was to pause and ponder who we really are and what we are really doing or not doing in this present moment. I think most clergy would say “The Wheel of Life” exercise was not necessarily full of surprises and revelations, but I think most of us would say it reaffirmed what we strongly suspected. In some ways, it was like holding up a mirror to ourselves in order to name our current reality. Most of us said that our reflections were accurate, whether we were happy with all of them or not.

 

So, as we prepare to journey with Jesus this Lent, we remember Pilate’s questions to Jesus. “Who are you, and what is your business here?”  In fact, I invite you to pause for 5 minutes and answer these questions which were first asked of Jesus.

 

As Kayla McClurg notes: “Day by day, year by year, we either grow more generous of heart, less fearful of change, more aligned with love, or we do not. Moving now into the year ahead, beginning the journey once more, who will we become? What is our business here?”

 

 

Blessings & Peace!

Pastor Eric



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