Happy Followers Day!
Who ever said that greeting card companies are the only ones who can start up celebrations? In 2011 we proposed Followers Day… and this April 17th will mark five years of celebration. Time flies, when you’re having fun, and it’s always a blessing to reflect on our various walks of faith with Jesus. Won’t you join in the joy?
Celebrating Followers Day can be a profoundly moving, and meaningful, experience. The day can remind us of the fact of Jesus’ life and ministry, as well as your call to discipleship. Jesus was willing to live and to die for us because of His great love. He was the Way and Truth and Life, walking among us in perfect loving kindness, showing us how to love and forgive, to heal and to reclaim. He said “follow me!” and you heard the call. Alleluia!
On Followers Day, you’re invited into the celebration. Followers Day is meant to be what you need it to be. It can be reflection and it can be heal-the-world action. It can be a time to grow closer to Jesus through imitation and discipleship, or through prayer and devotion. Here are some ways to celebrate:
- PRAYER – Remember how Jesus spent time in alone in prayer seeking God’s will, and how He taught His followers to pray with The Lord’s Prayer. Read some passage prayerfully, and then spend some time in quietude. May God’s be ever more clearly revealed in your life, and may you be filled with divine inspiration and nurtured in your path as Jesus’ follower.
- LOVE IN ACTION- Remember Jesus’ miracle of the loaves and fishes, and His ministry of healing. You could reach out to help and uplift others, perhaps visiting the sick or elderly, or finding some other creative way to comfort the afflicted. You might have a “pancake breakfast” style event, and send the proceeds to benefit some “widows and orphans.” Remember Jesus’ first miracle, water into wine at a wedding, by honoring your spouse, or by gathering two or three friends together over a meal in His name, in celebration.
- FORGIVENESS – Remember Jesus’ supernatural forgiveness – some of his last words on the cross were to forgive those who crucified Him, and He admonished His followers to forgive… Not once or twice. Not seven times. No, he told them to forgive seventy times seven, which means just as much forgiveness as it takes. Today is a perfect day to offer forgiveness, patching up an old division or soothing some old wound with this healing tincture. Even where distance is necessary for safety, we can still forgive in our hearts, for our own well-being. Holding unforgiveness is like taking poison in hopes that someone else will die; we hurt ourselves most of all. When it’s not in our power to forgive fully, we can forgive in part, and God can do the rest. May your spirit be lightened, through this forgiveness practice.
- RADICAL SOLIDARITY – Remember how Jesus broke through barriers, loving the “unlovable,” including tax collectors, a Roman soldier, and lepers, and “enemies.” Emulate, just for a day, this ministry of redemption and resurrection, with the specific intention to put aside judgmental thoughts for 24 hours. Consider putting yourself on the level of others, by washing their feet, either literally or through some other action of humble service. Help uplift someone, perhaps someone you know who needs a helping hand, or through some group that’s helping those downtrodden and left behind. May you experience God’s Kingdom today, when reaching out in solidarity.
- GREETING – Remember in years past, when “Word!” was a greeting among teens? Some of us around NHM Ministrants have begun lightheartedly saying “Word!” when greeting each other on this day. All in good fun, we wanted a way to remind ourselves that Jesus was the Word, made flesh (John 1:1). It’s a joy to contemplate, each time we hear this lighthearted greeting.
There are so many simple ways to put our faith in action, from the contemplative — contemplating forgiveness in our hearts — to the active. As you celebrate Followers Day with us, we know you’ll be creatively inspired. May the Lord bless and keep you, in all aspects and avenues, this day and always. And let every day be Followers Day in our hearts!
-The NHM Team