Faithful TogetherDaily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
Some women were there, watching from a distance, including Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James the younger and of Joseph), and Salome. They had been followers of Jesus and had cared for him while he was in Galilee. Many other women who had come with him to Jerusalem were also there.
In my last reflection, I focused on the women who were faithful to Jesus even as he was crucified. Their example stood in contrast to that of the male disciples who deserted Jesus.
What enabled the women to remain faithful even at the risk of their own well-being? Why did they stick with Jesus while the men abandoned him? Mark does not answer these questions directly. But the text does suggest at least one reason why the women remained: they had each other.
We know the names of three women who stayed with Jesus: “Mary Magdalene, Mary (the mother of James the younger and of Joseph), and Salome” (15:40). Moreover, “[m]any other women who had come with him to Jerusalem were also there” (15:41). Many other women! Though Mark doesn’t say this explicitly, the most obvious reading of these verses suggests that these women stood near one another as they watched Jesus die. They weren’t alone, but rather they were faithful together.
I wonder if the male disciples were scattered, each one alone in his grief, fear, and shame. We don’t know this for sure, but it wouldn’t surprise me if this had been the case. Yet we do know that the women hung together, and in their community they found strength. They were able to remain faithful to Jesus because they were not alone.
You and I were created to live in community with each other. When we put our faith in Christ, we were brought into relationship not only with him, but also with our sisters and brothers in Christ. Like the women at the cross, we will find strength in hard times when we remain in close fellowship with other believers. We stand strong when we stand together.
QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: When you have gone through hard times, have you been able to share these with your fellow Christians? Why do we sometimes try to go it alone? What encourages you to reach out to others when you are going through difficult times?
PRAYER: Gracious God, thank you for the example of the women who remained by the cross until the end. Thank you for their togetherness, for the fact that they stood strong because they stood with each other.
Help me, Lord, to live in genuine fellowship with my sisters and brothers in the faith. When I am going through difficult times, may they give me strength. And may I offer the same kind of support to them.
Thank you, O God, for not leaving us to live our lives alone. Thank you for the gift of genuine fellowship. Amen.
A Letter to My Younger Self
One of God's great gifts to us is wisdom from those who have walked the road before us. Our elders offer deep insights into navigating the seasons of life, and when we take time to listen, they offer valuable strategies for leading from the soul. One day, with the Lord's blessing, we will all find ourselves entering a season of retirement, perhaps complete with grand-parenting, and soaking up years of grace.
How will we arrive at those years, and how can we plan now to live well in that season of life? We've asked a few friends to help us think forward in this series, A Letter to My Younger Self.