Tuesday, June 30, 2009

For Sunday, July 5th, 2009

Not-so-great Expectations?

Mark 6:1-13

Hello, all.

This is Peyton.
Stephen has given me the opportunity to take a crack at the sermon blog for the next couple of weeks --whether or not that was a good decision remains to be seen--.

This next Sunday’s passage is a particularly interesting account of a confrontation in Jesus’ own home town. Some of us who have moved away from home for school, work, or just other life opportunities can be challenged by the ghosts of our past when we return: Where have you been all this time? And, What have you done with yourself? Or the dreaded, I remember when you were just a little bitty baby!

Jesus encounters some of that here, and more. You see, when he began to teach in the synagogue he not only challenged the perceptions that his friends and family had of him but also the perceptions they had about God.

We know those perceptions well. Perhaps they even are our own.

God would never use that person to do His work…. Why, I remember when she was just a little girl. Not well-behaved at all… I’ve seen him do things I’d never do. How could God ever use him! …and the list goes on.

The sad thing is that until we accept that God can and will chose whomever He wants to do His work we are stuck on the sidelines watching amazing things happen to someone else.

“And he could do no might work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled at their unbelief.” -v.5-6

It scares me to think what I may be missing because I have yet to take God at His word when it comes to His agenda.

But wait! It doesn’t end there. Jesus goes on and sends those who are willing to take him at his word out to do amazing things in his name. Not only are the twelve not what I’d consider apostle material, but they don’t even get to take along the sort of stuff any good camping expert would recommend. But look at what they do! Casting out many daemons and healing sick people is no small task by human standards. I wonder what their families would have said if they could have seen those twelve about their master’s work.

What can we do when we take Jesus at his word and throw off our limited ideas about who he is? Do we take the time to even hear what he says about himself?

May the grace and peace of our Lord cover us, and may we see him for who he is and have the faith to go out completely dependant on him.

See you all Sunday.


Stephen said...

Thanks Peyton. I think you've captured one of the big issues: the fact that we miss what God may be doing around us because we don't approve of, or can't imagine, God using the people God is using.

Jeremy said...

Sorry folks, no recording of this one! Technical issues, blah, blah, blah...

I'm very interested in the fundamental reasons we perpetuate the behavior that Peyton points out in Mark. Of course, I don't expect there to be a universal answer, but it would be useful to hear the people's responses. Their responses/perspectives will likely tell us more than 2nd order hypotheses.

Stephen, do a research project on this!