One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).

John 1:40–42

In the first novel of the children’s series, A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, we hear about the story of three children, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire, who are orphaned after a fire and are sent off to live with Count Olaf, who tries to steal their inheritance. As the series title suggests the world around the three kids is not great but somehow they survive because they are together.

“But the children knew, as I’m sure you know, that the worst surroundings in the world can be tolerated if the people in them are interesting and kind.” 

– The Bad Beginning, Lemony Snicket

When life is one unfortunate event after another, things can get overwhelming. In fact, oftentimes we want to run away and hide; we have no desire for company or companionship in our misery. But as the quote from the children’s book reminds us, we can be in awful circumstances and conditions and yet we can get along just fine if we have good people around us. Likewise, in the story of the disciples discovering Jesus, when one person finds something that turns a dark, unfortunate world to light, we tell others and bring them along.

Gathering together with other believers helps celebrate the light in our lives and comfort others in their times of dread. Being attached to the body, instead of being dismembered, brings us joy in spite of our conditions simply because we are loved and those other believers remind us of God’s all-encompassing love for us. Gathering together with brothers and sisters in Christ keeps Jesus at the center both in good events in life and the unfortunate ones. And there is no one in the universe that is more interesting and kind than our Savior.

Questions to ponder

Children’s books often portray kids in situations without their parents through tragedy and loss; what are some other stories you read that fit that style? Why do you think they’re so popular?

What is a situation that you hated being in but the people who were in it with you made it bearable?

When Jesus changes your life for the better, you feel fortunate. How can you start gathering with others more to remind each other how fortunate you truly are to have a Savior like Jesus?

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