For the North End Community Ministry / food pantry visit or call (616) 454-1097.

We meet for worship at 214 Spencer Street NE. Directions.
Service begins Sundays at 10:00AM.

“pray Jude”—not to him, but like him

In the Gospels we read of the Lord’s brothers and how they did not believe in him prior to his resurrection. For example, in Mark 3, Jesus is teaching large crowds. In response to the crowds following him Mark writes, “And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, ‘He is out of his mind.'” It was only after God raised Jesus from the dead that they recognized his true identity.

The Lord’s brother Jude wrote the following at the end of his letter in the New Testament Scriptures:

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

Jude 1:24-25 ESV

I’m fascinated by his words. Jude doesn’t identify himself as the Lord’s brother in this letter. Instead he wrote that he is the servant of Jesus and the brother of James—but James is the brother of Jesus, making Jude his brother also. In these verses he declares that Jesus is able to keep us from stumbling and to present us blameless, and he offers praise “to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord.” That’s a far cry from thinking his brother was crazy!

The reality of life for Jude, who had once denied Jesus’ true identity, and the reality of life for us is that there is only one who can keep us from stumbling, only one who can present us blameless before the presence of his glory.

As we spend time in prayer today, let’s pray for one another by asking God to keep us from stumbling, to keep us from evil. Let’s pray for all who call New City home, for their health and victory over sin and for God to provide for their material needs. Let’s pray for our purity before the Lord and for our witness to those around us to shine brightly as a beacon pointing them to Jesus.