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Close but yet far away

By Joseph Perry

Did you know you can be close and yet still be far away?

The woman who had been serving as a trustee at the church faithfully for 20 years asked me to help her understand the meaning of Easter. I looked at her without saying a word, only thinking after all these years, how could you be so close, but yet so far away.

We have so many folk in our churches, especially leaders of our churches, who are there, they give, they serve, yet they are really not there in knowing what living for the Lord and serving the Lord is really all about.

They don’t understand why Christ sacrificed His life. Just like people come and hear a word on Palm Sunday, and they have heard it down through the years, but yet still don’t understand why Jesus was riding into Jerusalem.

In the gospel of Mark, Jesus is preparing to go to the cross. He is finishing His work that He was called to do by His Heavenly Father. His job was to seek and to save those who were lost. His job was to bring us back to the Father. There were many who served at the Temple so close, but still so far away. They were doing all the things that you do at church, but they really had no relationship with God.

Having a relationship with God requires:

  • Reading His Word.
  • Praying to Him.
  • Fellowship with Him.

You can be so close and yet be so far away not understanding the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord. Jesus went to the cross and shed His blood for us. He was taken down and put in a borrowed tomb for us. He stayed there for three days for us. But early one Sunday morning, Jesus got up. He got up for us. We need to never be too close and yet far away after all He has done for us.

Our prayer should always be, “Lord help us to not only be close to the work that we do, but also be close to you always and remember what you’ve done for us.

The Rev. Dr. Joseph A. Perry is pastor of St. Mark AME Zion Church. Contact him at josephp134@gmail.com.